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Old story, new twist.

The trailer of Nope provided us with very little.

There were three things we could be certain of. It was a mystery, Jorden Peele directed it, and there was some kind of UFO flying around. Contrary to the trailers we expect nowadays, where nearly the whole story is given away in the first few minutes, Nope‘s teaser was a breath of fresh air.

Peele takes the ages-old story and gives it a slight twist, though I won’t spoil it for you.

The story is simple. Inhabitants of a small town have realized that things aren’t quite what they seem and they’re almost certain there’s something strange going on in the sky.

OJ (Daniel Kuluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer), the leads of this film, provide a hilarious yet adorable dynamic as brother and sister. They are so very different from each other, but their bond is unmistakable. It seems strange that such a stoic, quiet brother and loud, extroverted sister get along so well, but seeing their characters interact on-screen never gets boring.

The supporting cast consists of tech-helper Angel (Brandon Perea), an intimidating cinematographer called Antlers (Michael Wincott), and a neighboring showman with a haunted past, Jupe (Steven Yeun, who will be familiar to Walking Dead fans).

Early on, an uncomfortable atmosphere is created with lingering shots and with minute details hinting at the strangeness that lies ahead, though Peele also manages to encapture the beauty of the setting our characters find themselves in. There are some stunning scenes in this movie that made me want to pause and just admire, though I equally as badly wanted to continue with the story.

As a self-proclaimed scaredy cat, the fact that this movie was labeled as horror made me hesitate, but curiosity forced me to give in. Aside from a few minor jump-scares, imagery of blood, and the disturbing allusion to humans being killed off-screen, their screams still being heard from afar, this movie is manageable for the faint of heart.

OJ seems to be fearless, stubbornly insisting on staying at his father’s ranch and taking care of his horses, while I found myself relating to Emerald, who wanted to flee the ranch upon realizing exactly what loomed over them in the sky. Despite their differences, the love between brother and sister is exactly what supports the story in the movie.

I suggest you watch Nope if you’re in the mood for a thriller with a bit of a twist, even if you’re a bit apprehensive like I was.


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