Is Nope a horror movie? Nope.

Jaren Smith

As someone who isn’t a big fan of horror movies, I thought that Director Jordan Peele’s third movie, “Nope” was a well-made movie. I knew the moment I saw the trailer that I had to go see it on the big screen. I really enjoyed Peele’s first movie, “Get Out,” and the only thing I wanted from his newest movie was another thriller that had me on the edge of my seat. 

One of the things the movie did well was how the characters were portrayed. The movie personalizes the characters just enough to get the audience to care about them. 

In the movie, siblings OJ and Emerald come together to run the ranch their father left behind and are forced to sell some of their father’s horses to a nearby theme park to make ends meet. Late one night, a mysterious ship appears in the sky. Panic and greed over the discovery quickly follow. 

“Nope” also does an amazing job of building suspense. The jump scares in the movie are well-sprinkled throughout the thriller which only adds onto its unpredictability. The pace keeps you guessing as the plot continues to unfold. There were several moments in both movies where I found myself second guessing what happened throughout the film or being stunned into silence. 

The characters OJ (played by Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (played by Keke Palmer) were well-cast. The two siblings bickered back and forth while still caring for each other when times were tough. 

My biggest problem with “Nope” is that it’s Peele’s only movie that doesn’t feel like a horror movie. This makes me think it wasn’t properly rated. The use of profanity by the characters is the only thing that makes me think Peele wanted the target audience to be young adults. In most horror movies I’ve seen, the characters typically have a scared expression on their face and often scream at the problems they face. OJ and Emerald keep their composure through most of the movie which is contrary to what you’d see in other horror movies. 

In my opinion, the movie feels more like a thriller instead of a horror movie. When I think of a horror movie, I think of people dying in a gruesome way from someone or something that overpowers everyone. “Nope” doesn’t rely on blood and gore to build suspense in the movie. Instead, “Nope” relies on the setting in order to build suspense and thrill. Most of the plot takes place on the ranch. The UFO was able to hide in plain sight without most people realizing where the UFO was until it was too late. 

Another reason the movie doesn’t feel like a horror movie is because most of the violence in the movie is not shown to the audience. The audience only gets to see what happens when people are abducted by the UFO once, but the scene only lasts for a moment. I would have liked it if the movie had shown our main characters struggle more in order to survive the UFO threat. 

Overall, I enjoyed watching this movie. The stakes are made clear and the characters team up in order to catch the UFO on camera. The movie does a really good job at exploiting society’s fear of the unknown. Often people question if there is life outside of this planet, and each character grapples with the new threat in their own way.