Nope is a science fiction horror film directed by Jordan Peele, this being his third film in the directing helm. Nope is also Peele’s biggest film in terms of concept, sets, action, horrors, and cinematography.
This article will do its best to avoid spoilers but I do suggest that if you are even slightly interested in this film then go see it in theaters as soon as possible.
What makes Nope so terrifying to me personally? There’s many factors that can be attributed here but I feel one of the main keys to it’s dreadful suspension is what the film chooses to show you, but more importantly what it chooses not to show.
Though it sounds ridiculous nowadays, director Alfred Hitchcock stated that when he was making Psycho he deliberately shot the film in black and white, feeling as if the film was too violent to be shown in color, this actually added onto the terror of the film, leaving the audience to fill in the gratuitous blanks from what isn’t shown.
To say the film is graphic is an understatement, but rather than showing the audience overt gore shoved in their face, it’s obscured, hidden, or out of focus. It leaves the exact details up to the audiences imagination, sometimes only giving you the sound of the violence and the aftermath of the occurrence.
The terror doesn’t just come from the violence though, it wouldn’t stick out as much if that was the case. The cinematography of the film completes the dreadful atmosphere, shot on IMAX 70mm film, the movie is full of large shots of the ranch and in depth still shots that hold on to the frame for just a little too long.
Watching the film again adds onto that atmosphere when you know what to look for and realize that even during broad daylight, the terrifying thing is lurking there waiting for just the right moment to pounce.
To give you a quick, terribly summarized, synopsis of the film; A struggling horse trainer (Daniel Kaluuya), about to sell his father’s ranch to a carnival owner (Steven Yeun), and his sister (Keke Palmer), alongside a guy from Fry’s electronic (Brandon Perea) do everything possible to capture a photo or video evidence of a flying saucer that has been causing trouble.
In a future review I’d love to write more in depth about this film, the themes in the film, and a more detailed breakdown of the films most terrifying moment, and the large amount of film references, but for now I just want you to please go see Nope as blind as you can and as soon as you can.