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I’m struggling to find something I didn’t like about this movie.
Before I continue, let me talk about what this movie is not. It’s not scary. It’s not bloody. It’s not even very violent. So, what makes it a horror movie? The element of “cosmic horror.” Wikipedia describes it as: “Lovecraftian horror, sometimes used interchangeably with "cosmic horror", is a subgenre of horror fiction and weird fiction that emphasizes the horror of the unknowable and incomprehensible more than gore or other elements of shock.” Nope falls into that category and absolutely nails it.
The runtime is over two hours long but I never felt like it was dragging. It’s definitely a slow burn but everything about the movie made it an enjoyable ride. Keke Palmer stole the show as the main female lead. Her charisma and talent gave the cast a much needed boost of energy. That’s not to say the rest of the actors were bad. Quite the contrary. Jordan Peele does a great job of making his characters and their actions seem believable and makes sense. The cinematography was great. The pacing was good. The story was good. The… UFO was positively fascinating and still has my mind spinning.
There’s always an element of mystery or intrigue in Peele’s movies that isn’t explicitly spelled out. I love that. I’m left wondering, “why was that in there?” For this movie, there’s a whole 15-20 minutes of content, sprinkled throughout the movie, that focuses on a tv sitcom chimp. You read that right. I’m still trying to figure out what the connection is to the rest of the movie.
All in all, I really, really liked this movie and will most certainly watch it again to try and get some answers.
Grade: A (For a Horror Movie)
Recommendation: It’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for “another scary movie,” this ain’t it. If you’re looking for a lovingly crafted atypical horror film that’s light on terror but high on tension, I give this a solid recommendation.