WHAT WE’RE WATCHING WITH WALTER WILLIAMS
Did I just watch the best horror movie ever made?
That’s both the name of the movie and my verdict in one convenient pocket sized answer.
Just to blow away any myths for Jordan Peele fans the films title is NOT an acronym for “Not Of Planet Earth”, but it could be. It’s also what black people would say if they saw a UFO, “Nope”, according to the director himself. It is a very original adventure into a unique people of colour perspective on the UFO, Aliens genre…something thats been largely ignored in cinema…until now. The cliche trope was always how black people would be the first to die in horror movies…self aware films like “Scream” spelled it out and often.
I really like how it incorporates Hollywood Horse trainers and the origins of cinema into its storyline and ties them together…something rarely touched on in Tinseltown…especially in Horror/Sci Fi. Keke Palmer as “Emerald Haywood” is part of this character driven movie and lives on the ranch with her brother and father. It’s not the first time Palmer and Peele have worked together. She worked alongside the director in the comedy series “Key and Peele”.
The cast also includes Brit actor Daniel Kaluuya as “O J Haywood” (an unfortunate character name) who also worked with Peele in his debut horror feature, the amazing “Get Out”. Peele does favour his ensemble casts. Hollywood royalty Keith David plays a small but pivotal role as “Otis Haywood Snr”. Brandon Perea is the tech geek “Angel” in this over 2 hours spectacle & drama.
“Nope” is not without its share of trauma either dealing with Chimps on the rage and Alien life forms that chew you up, only to spit you out. “Walking Dead” star Stephen Yuen got his skull smashed in by a barbed wired baseball bat in that series and as Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park in “Nope” he meets another grisly end. Bond fans would understand if I said this horror movie may be suitable For Your Adult Eyes Only…leave the children at home or in the car park like they do in Casinos.
“Knots Landing” fans will get a kick out of seeing Donna Mills as “Bonnie Clayton”. Terry Notary (who for the record is not a Justice of the Peace ) plays Gordy the chimp who loses his stuff and goes ape shit. Not for the first time after “Planet of the Apes” and “King Kong”.
For me personally I found the CGI let this movie down, because it looked dodgy as a photo of the Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot when you finally see the UFO…which resembles a puckered bum hole that farts…a lot and makes it more comical and less threatening. But maybe it was Peele’s intent to turn this spectacle into a carnival side show. You just know the artist in Jordan has been holding onto some of the themes revealed in this movie since childhood, including his fascination with how animals hunt and eat their prey, simian attacks, carnie people and UFO’s.
“Nope” is a modern Horror/Sci-Fi epic that would look amazing in an iMax theatre as it is the first of its kind to be shot in this format.
Watching this film is a very intimate experience.
Check out the trailer here