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Jordan Peele, the writer-director behind Get Out and Us, reinvents the summer blockbuster with his fantastic fusion of the Western, sci-fi and horror.
OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) run a ranch with their father Otis (Keith David). Their speciality is supplying trained horses to the film industry. A freak weather occurrence brings tragedy, but OJ suspects that the cloud hanging over their property is hiding something. In the next valley, former child star Ricky Park (Steven Yuen) has also sensed something is amiss and plans to make it a part of his theme park. But as someone who knows how life can deal unexpected blows, perhaps he should think again…
Drawing on the influence of past masters, from Spielberg to Carpenter, and once again playing with genre expectations, Peele’s beautifully crafted film – gorgeously shot by Christopher Nolan regular Hoyte Van Hoteyma – is a perfectly crafted exercise in slow-burn suspense. (Think Close Encounters of the Third Kind by way of Starman and Signs.) Creepy rather than outright scary, with a flashback sequence that highlights the filmmaker’s skill in creating stunning set-pieces, Nope cements Kaluuya’s star status and Peele’s position as one of mainstream cinema’s most original voices. Wondrous and dryly funny, Nope succeeds as summer blockbuster entertainment while critiquing a culture that transforms everything into a sideshow attraction.