Recently, quite some local movies are available in cinemas because of the summer holiday. They’re mostly family-friendly films while none of them is even close to my “standards” or taste. You might’ve guessed it, my reaction was “nope”. Nope successfully piqued my interest when I first saw the trailer. It was quite an unusual experience and I am not disappointed.
Minor spoilers ahead.
I try to discuss the film without any spoilers.
The plot is about a horse ranch in California run by a family called Haywood. They train horses and bring tamed ones to work for films to make a living. Our protagonists OJ and Emerald are siblings while their personalities are the complete opposite. Because of an unnatural event occurred and their father died. The mysteries start to unravel and later they find out it was caused by a UFO. They decided to take a photo shot of the UFO and make money out of it. Their adventure was later joined by a CCTV technician and a cinematographer. The story is about how they use primitive ways to deal with the alien.
The film is well-thought and cleverly done overall. I like the director Jordan Peele telling a seems like traditional Sci-fi story in a creative way. It has a very interesting take, or twist, that makes it stand out from any UFO movies. I like they show the UFO straight to your face very early on. No bullshit and no shying away from thriller elements you’ve seen before. The cinematic was beautiful and most of the time it’s filmed in daylight. No pretentious “hiding things” or making the scenes dark or unclear to build up the mystery and I like that. You can see everything clearly under sunlight and that’s kind of unusual for a horror movie. It got me intrigued all the way through.
Some comedy were seen and it brings “spirit” to the entire film. It makes the film more entertaining and easy to watch. They did mention “nope” more than a couple of times. And that’s very funny. Because there were some scenes that are terrifying, it’s a horror movie after all. Those fun moments were to balance out the movie. The story somewhat conveys a lot more than the horror theme. In spite of the interpretations can be varied depending on the audience’s perspectives, it seems to me the film delivered the message: if one pursues after fame whose might find themselves ended up in misery.
I think it tries to be a critique of Hollywood—or the filmmaking industry—as a whole, how they treat unwanted actors or animals. Humans are arrogant and disrespectful towards nature and try to tame animals and cast them away when they’re useless to them. They want to use anything they could find as a tool for their own gain. The story brings an interesting question what if we don’t have electronic devices like our phones or cameras to take photos or video? We can only witness the spectacle with our own eyes.
In my opinion, the director also wants to criticize people who chase dreams in Hollywood. It also has a “justifying black people representation” in the Hollywood kind of vibe but the director blends the message in a very subtle way. Despite I am Asian, still think that is relatable in some way.
I like the film. It’s fun and entertaining. Keke Palmer is just too funny. My favourite part was OJ, Emerald and the technician guy trying to escape from the UFO. The trio certainly has their chemistry. In the end, the bonding of OJ and Emerald echoes back to the flashback earlier and which tells they both grow a lot without relying on their father or each other. I watched Us (2019) and I think that’s a clever idea. I will look forward to the next film Jordan Peele create.
A special take on the American UFO story. It’s creatively done and interesting. If you wish to see something different this might be a good choice.
Watched in Cinema
- Jordan Peele
- Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer
- Thriller, Sci-fi, Horror
- Release Date
- Aug 2022
This is #Day48 of #100DaysToOffload.