With just two movies under his belt, Jordan Peele films are now an event unto themselves. Whether you want some creepy visuals, a wicked sense of humor, or just to see black people in horror movies, the director/writer has garnered a big following )both critically and financially) thanks to Get Out and Us. His third movie, Nope, will finally hit theaters, and has had a decent air of mystery around ever since that original, ominous poster. With the film a little over a month away, Universal is now starting to drip feed more information about what the premise of people’s third outing actually is.
Earlier in the week, Universal put out a “final trailer” for the film, which stars Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya respectively as Emerald and OJ, a pair of siblings looking to save their family ranch and make it a success. But as that original trailer and the marketing have made extremely clear, there’s some...thing in the sky that’s got everyone looking up in confusion, and eventually horror. And if the final trailer is to be believed...
Nope is gonna be about an alien invasion. It’s surprisingly upfront about this throughout the trailer, with OJ and Emerald talking about trying to get a “money shot” of the extraterrestrials with the help of a techie named Angel (Brandon Perea) and documentarian Antlers Holt (Michael Wincott). And if that weren’t enough, during the trailer’s final moments, we get ourselves a look at the flying saucer as it chases down OJ. For some, the trailer choosing not to dance around this or obscure the aliens in any real manner has effectively spoiled the film or robbed of any potential mystique you could’ve had if you went in blind.
Only...does it really? The alien theory has been one hovering around the film since that original trailer back in February. After all, it’s a movie set in a small town, features people repeatedly looking up in the air, and one of posters is a horse hovering in the sky. Realistically, you can’t not think that beings not of this world would be showing up in this movie. And by the standards of Peele’s previous works, this isn’t really breaking tradition set by those respective trailers. Us’ trailer made it clear that the cast would be facing their murderous doppelgangers, and the same could be said about Get Out’s trailer. There are specifics those trailers play around with, but the plots of these films don’t have anything to really “hide” in the traditional sense.
There are films that give away too much of the game, and certainly we’ve all got our own examples to pull from. (I remember you, Terminator Genisys, even if everyone else would prefer not to.) But Peele isn’t a J.J. Abrams: while his characters are faced with unknown horrors, the films are less about learning more about those things than they are figuring out how to get the hell away from them. For him, the journey is as important as the destination, a journey that plays out in chilling, occasionally funny sequences. This is a man who mainly wants you to see what it’s like when black people are faced with weird shit and has no problem giving you enough information to form your own thoughts on what’ll happen. Maybe it’s exactly what it says on the tin, maybe there’s a deeper meaning for you to pour through as your thoughts on the film settle. Regardless, Nope is sure to stick with you when it hits theaters on July 22.
And hey, maybe the aliens are a smokescreen for something bigger. Come next month, we could be finding out that they’re actually angels.
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