Jordan Peele's NOPE (spoilers after OP)

Was looking forward to this and saw on opening day Friday.
And… it just didn’t do it for me. It had it’s moments along with some interesting symbolism and metaphors but makes a big mistake a lot of these horror/thrillers do. If the main characters don’t seem all that threatened by the threat, then good luck getting the audience to feel any sense of dread towards it, and then what’s the point?
I found one of the main character’s back story to be much more effective in instilling horror and would have preferred a movie about that.
Oh well. Spoilers to follow in ensuing posts.

This was posted in the “Movies you’ve seen recently” thread, but I thought it’d make more sense to reply to it here:

My interpretation of that:

Jupe lived through it and saw what could happen when you try to tame nature without actually understanding it. And even though he knew the risk, his hubris caused him to do the exact same thing with the alien creature. He thought he could control it, until it ate all the people at the show.

And btw, if you have a chance to see this film on a true 1.43 IMAX screen, go!! It really utilized every inch of that massive screen. I don’t know how they could cut down certain scenes to fit smaller screens, because there were times when the action in the shot was at the very top and very bottom.

So what’s the best way to prep to see this movie for maximum enjoyment?

I think it’s a mixed bag of knowing a little and having some expectations but not too much. NOPE has generated a crazy buzz because up until the final trailer it was not exactly confirmed this was a UFO movie.

I know the script was leaked online and it appears that leak was true.

I have been careful not to ruin too much but from the leak I know and the reviews, I can see why/how people find this movie a bit disjointed.

I am hoping we can navigate this and I can enjoy this movie next Monday.

I know it’s about UFOs. I know it’s about people’s interaction, “don’t look up” something something.

I know the film is

set in 5 chapters.

I know there is a chimp attack. I know it’s a whole ass chapter. I assume the woman with the hat and veil looking up at the desert attraction had her fuckin face attacked by a chimp. I might be wrong, but I think perhaps the chapter layout is a good cold reading to go in on?

Like it feels disjointed because it’s broken into chapters?

Just go watch it, it’s not that deep.

This is the exact same idea Mrs. Cad has. I feel he thought he was a survivor and couldn’t be hurt by the aliens which is a level below actual control.

I definitely got a Tarantino vibe from the film and it had some good ideas but it just wasn’t as good as “Get Out” or “Us”.

Yeah, I enjoyed it a lot (and still have some residual low-level nervousness about watching clouds), but I thought Get Out was better. (I have not yet seen Us, too chicken.)

When really it was that he was staring at the weird standing shoe and not looking it in the eyes, which was a nice detail. Movie is filled with stuff like that, like how Emerald got the number of “greats” in her ancestors wrong because she had gotten the speech from listening to her father’s recording of it.

Just saw it!

Loved it. It was everything I wanted it to be. Kind of more of a popcorn flick than Peele’s more cerebral work but I quiet enjoyed it and can’t wait to watch it again.


I guess one of my biggest questions is about Jupiter’s Claim:

Was that place just cowboy themed before—? [spoiler]
Was that show we see with his family the first of what he hoped to make a grand spectacle? Rebranding the whole park?

So there’s a whole parallel story of Jupe, his boys, etc discovering the entity, feeding it, and working it all into a show?

What was with the reflectors on the hoodie?

I thought it was to mimic eyes so it would follow him while running away.

I’m surprised people liked this movie. I thought it was one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. Mostly it just made no damn sense (couldn’t understand most of the dialogue, although I don’t know if that’s a problem with the film or just the theater’s sound). The characters kept trying to get photos of the alien long after anyone with any sense would have gotten the hell out of there. The whole subplot about the monkey had some of the most interesting scenes, but ultimately didn’t really seem connected to the rest of the film.

I did think the male and female leads were both excellent and deserved to be in something better. The cinematography was also very nice. But the screenplay was just a mess.

I just saw it and really loved it.

My read on Jupe? The show with Gordy was the best part of his life, and the wild predator’s inevitable rampage was not something he’d ever been able to process. His monologue about SNL was devastating: he couldn’t admit that it was an awful thing that had happened, to end his friendship with the wild animal and his brief stardom.

So when he encountered another wild perdator, it was a second chance for him. This time, he could befriend the creature and gain his watchers back at the same time. So he fed the creature horses, and named it The Watchers, and used the creature to gain human viewers and a chance to relive his glory days.

And it ended the second time just like it ended the first time.

I really liked it. I don’t know what else to say. I have a hard time understanding some of the criticisms, particularly where people don’t see the parallels between the *chimp attack and the attack on Jupiter’s Claim. I think the shoe—and particularly what’s-his-name’s fixation on the shoe—is just symbolic of him drawing meaning that he shouldn’t from a traumatic event. A review I read after suggested the upright show might be seen as a “bad miracle” that what’s-his-name misinterpreted as… well, a sign of something other than what it was: an absolute horror. And I agree with that interpretation, and feel it’s well-supported by the subtext around that character: not that he is bad or wicked, just that he has grossly misunderstood the dynamic.

I also loved the scene of the crazed old camera guy ascending the mountain like a biblical prophet. A biblical prophet, totally blind to his own insanity, I mean. That is, like a biblical prophet.

Without being expressly (or even necessarily) atheistic, the film was like an atheist’s take on miracles, and I really liked it.

*Also, and this may be just peculiar to me, I liked that it effectively deconstructed the Planet of the Apes trope whereby chimps are supposed to be the more civilized of the great apes species. The hell they are. Those f’ers will maul you like, well, like a wild animal. And what’s more, they will eat you. Whether such a deconstruction was part of Peele’s intent, I appreciated it.

I think it’s more the kind of movie that isn’t totally spelled out for you, but as you’re going through it, things fall into place. Yeah, a lot of things happened that I didn’t quite get at first (the kids in alien costumes? wut?), but then when they came back onscreen I was like “oh yeah, now I get it”.

I thought The Power of the Dog, another movie I really liked but had to put some thought into, was similar in that respect. I guess everybody’s got their own individual “just right” line between the realms of “too obvious” and “too obscure”.

That was my basis for thinking it failed as any type of “good” film. Metaphors, analogies, symbolism are all well and good in a story but if the characters don’t relay any sense of realistic dread, fear, tension, etc. then I may as well watch a cartoon.
This movie has been compared to Speilberg’s Close Encounters but carries zero of the emotional heft Speilberg was able to create when imagining the primal flee/hide/survive instinct that would kick in with such an encounter with the unknown.

Huh. Well, I guess everyone’s also got their own individual boundary for “not scary enough”. Personally, I found Nope plenty scary enough.

I will say, though, that one incident that temporarily unsuspended my disbelief and pulled me out of the experience was the “rain of blood” business. I do a little amateur bug-watching and I like the bizarreness of animal behaviors in different phyla, so I was ready to embrace the observation of this “UFO” as an organism doing critter things for critter reasons.

And I was willing to tolerate the high-velocity metal-bits expulsion, because okay your system has to get rid of the indigestible stuff and it has to go somewhere. Not sure why it has to be given so much momentum, but maybe you are regurgitating pellets like an owl, or you have some kind of anal comb like certain caterpillars that lets you projectile-poop, and maybe your home system has higher gravity so you’re just a lot stronger here? Whatever.

But dude, you are EXCRETING THE BLOOD OF YOUR VICTIMS IN A MASSIVE DELUGE?! What the hell?? THAT IS THE GOOD STUFF. What are you even eating other living creatures FOR if you can’t make use of the part of their bodies that has the most concentrated nutrients in it? I was just sitting there SMH like “Tut tut, wasteful.”

If it were spitting out, say, the hair and nails because it can’t digest keratin, that would have seemed a bit more cryptozoologically plausible and also molto creepy. Like, they find Jupe’s tangled hair or one of their horse’s manes in a slimy heap on the ground, ewwww. (And someone like Jordan Peele could have worked in a clever allusion to old Western stereotypes of “scalping” victims.) But just dumping all that precious blood? Please, my credulity about the actions of mysterious extraterrestrial aliens devouring the inhabitants of Earth has SOME limits.

Yeah, it might have been more creepy if it was raining human carcasses that looked like they had been picked over like roadkill after predators are done with it.

Oh, I totally thought they conveyed it.

OJ stayed because his closest family, by far, were the horses. He kept saying that: “I got mouths to feed.” He couldn’t abandon them, and it was tearing him up that he’d had to sell so many of them to keep the remainder. Of course he stayed.

Emerald stayed because of her brother, mostly. She kept saying let’s get out of here, but he wouldn’t leave, and she already had issues around her estrangement with her father, and she couldn’t lose her brother. Sure, she had the picture thing going on, but her brother wouldn’t leave, so neither would she; and as long as she was going to be there, she was gonna hustle.

Angel stayed because his girlfriend dumped him and he was completely adrift. Suddenly there was this thing giving him meaning.

And Antlers was a fuckin maniac.

Did they keep trying to get the picture long after it made sense not to? Maybe. But OJ was desperate to keep the ranch, and had literally no other path to doing so. Emerald wanted fame, and her willingness to risk death for fame was smack dab in the middle of one of the movie’s satirical themes. It certainly didn’t seem like an unrealistic exaggeration, in an era of Tide Pod challenges. Antlers was chasing a magnum opus. Angel wanted to hang out with people after a bad breakup – and again, he’s not even in the top ten percent of people who engage in risky self-destructive post-breakup behaviors.

I thought it was, characterwise, absolutely realistic. They weren’t professional gamers with a perfect survival strategy; if they had been, that would have been unrealistic.

That was weird, I admit. It came across like an act of hostility and aggression and frustration, just vomiting all over an enemy it couldn’t reach. But you’re right, that’s some good nutrition going to waste right there.

Maybe it had overeaten. If it’s been surviving off ten horses* in six months–one big meal every 18 days–maybe 40 people at once gave it a tummy ache.

[*] This was the most unrealistic part to me. OJ was selling his horses for “eleven five,” which I took to mean $11,500. Jupe had spent more than a hundred thousand dollars to feed highly trained horses to this alien? Why didn’t he just buy a few head of cattle for a fraction of the cost?

Spitballing, here, but cows can’t look up- their necks don’t bend that way. Horses do look up- when they rear up, as they do when they’re startled.