Aliens, horses, horror, and Black history – Jordan Peele’s newest thought-provoking, genre-bending Sci-Fi Horror film, “NOPE” is made to be seen on the biggest screen possible!
Which makes perfect sense that AMC’s Lincoln Square 13 movie theater hosted the private New York screening of Peele’s latest film Monday night – in IMAX.
As it has been three years since Peele’s “Us” hit theaters, we can safely assure new audiences and long-time fans alike that the wait is almost over – and entirely worth it! Just five months ago, Universal Pictures released the film’s cryptic trailer during the 2022 Super Bowl; while it was full-length it certainly left a lot to the imagination and built quite the anticipation regarding the plot.
After watching the film I can officially confirm what most fans have gathered from Peele’s previous projects: to expect the unexpected.
In fact, the film’s opening scene which features a chimpanzee gone rouge while on the set of an early ’90s family sitcom alone caught me off guard, and that was only the beginning.
While no stranger to the realm of horror, it is Peele’s sense of humor and his ability to use it to relieve or increase tension in different scenes that truly grasps the audience.
In several visually arresting scenes, many shot by “Tenet” cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, audiences are first introduced to OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) and his sister Emerald (Keke Palmer). The duo’s family lineage is heavily settled in cinema as they alongside their father, Otis (Keith David) work together in a business that provides trained horses for movies.
Over time, many strange, and downright creepy events lead both OJ and Emerald to face the fact that they may not be the only ones on their usually remote stable grounds. Yet, how does one fight a malevolent force that cannot be seen?
Peele’s shooting style of making “NOPE” appear like a classic Western film and alien horror film blended with modern elements is simply genius and sure to leave the audience wondering what will happen next and possibly questioning their surroundings.
Now let’s get into the film screening pre-reception, which was an unforgettably unique experience in itself!
Upon walking into the lobby of the theater, we were greeted by several banquet servers holding platters of delectable Horderves. Taking in the foodie’s paradise, guests were able to choose from a variety of finger foods such as miniature guacamole black bean tacos, tiny shrimp and waffle cups, and savory beef sliders.
In addition to the appetizers being passed around, guests were also able to indulge in complimentary popcorn, freshly made. Those wanting to quench their thirst were also left with plenty of options, including the notorious Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and an ICEE Slush machine for those feeling frosty.
Last but certainly not least, AMC prepared a table with adorably personalized mini-cupcakes! Only these weren’t just any cupcakes, each one was adorned with an edible image of a member of the “NOPE” cast. Guests marveled at the mini-starring lineup cupcakes which featured an image of Emerald and Oj Haywood, as well as Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park (Steven Yeun).
Overall, Peele’s “NOPE” is sure to set the expectation bar high; but if that isn’t enough to convenience you, we’ve got five reasons to run not walk to the theater this Friday!
As a filmmaker, with a background in obscenely funny comedy and a knack for creepy thought-provoking horror films Peele has elevated himself to the top of the list of working directors by delivering time after time, and he’s only JUST beginning. “NOPE” has the potential to be one of Peele’s best films to date because of its blend of intellectual comedic timing, and Black History, mixed with the right amount of horror, suspense, and gore.
Some films can be star-studded and still be dull and mundane – but that’s not the case with “NOPE”. Together brother and sister leads, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer dominate their scenes, both enigmatic, natural, and spell-binding. Steven Yeun’s character captivates and gives audiences a glimpse into the not-so-shiny side of Hollywood.
The Spontaneous Thrills
As mentioned before, Peele does an excellent job of keeping the audience on their toes, never quite knowing his next move and almost making you question what it is you’re actually witnessing.
This film’s unique storyline alone is enough to garner some attention. A menacing alien force that quite literally hides in plain sight and engulfs a tiny Midwestern town submerged in the unforeseen horrors of Hollywood and its history – “NOPE” most certainly gets a ‘yes’ from this alone.
The Ultimate Summer Savior Flick
This Summer season has been a quiet one for films, and that’s where “NOPE” come in to shake things up. Peele’s latest film has all the right components to drive audiences to the theater (even in a sweltering heatwave) partly because it combines interplanetary visitors, breathtaking visuals, an entertaining ensemble, and horror in the best way possible.