Something strange is happening in the northern desert of Agua Dulce, Calif. After setting up surveillance cameras and equipment with the help of Fry’s Electronics employee Angel Torres, Otis Jr. and Emerald Hayward wait in suspenseful anticipation to capture on film the unknown entity that has been abducting their horses.
Written and directed by Jordan Peele, the movie Nope opens with a chilling scene where objects fall out of the sky from a passing plane and seriously injure Otis Senior while he’s training a horse. His children eventually come to believe that the injury was not the result of a midair cargo spill. Although hesitant to first use the word “UFO,” the Hayward siblings believe that if they can capture the entity on film, they can sell it for a huge price and save their family business, which has been financially struggling for years.
The common assumption is that aliens are rational and intelligent, but what if that assumption is wrong? Will Otis Jr. and Emerald uncover the secret to surviving an attack? Will they be able to document the phenomenon on film? Or will they lose everything?
Woven through the film is an important lesson about the interaction between humans and animals. Several scenes make the point that when we use animals for entertainment, we should be ready for dire consequences—especially when we try to tame wild predators. Too often, rather than respecting nature, humans try to control and exploit it for a profit. In the end, everyone pays a terrible price.
Nope is a science fiction film that borders on horror at times but mostly stays in the genre of action and suspense. It also manages to weave a subtle thread of humor throughout which adds a bit of levity. Nope is a unique take on a common genre that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until the very end. (Rated R for Explicit Language and Violence. Peacock)