Why ‘Nope’ is a ‘Yep’

Director Jordan Peele’s work just keeps getting better

Why Nope is a Yep

By Zoe Miller, Spartan Staff

“I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.” — Nahum 3:6


When the trailers released for Jordan Peele’s 2022 horror movie, Nope, it left many people intrigued and questioning. It was hard to tell what its genre was. 

Is it a western? 

A science fiction film? 

Is it even going to be horror? 

Well… nope.  

Nope is all of those and more. 


The reason, Peele said, is that he wrote the script when he was most worried about the future of cinema. 

“I set my sights on the great American UFO story, and the movie itself deals with spectacle,” Peele stated in an interview with Fandango. “It’s a horror epic, but it has points in it that are meant to elicit a very audible reaction in the theater.”

Since his directorial debut of Get Out (2017), Peele has made a name for himself as a horror auteur. His second movie, Us. (2019) was also highly anticipated and highly acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Both films featured an immense amount of symbolism and social commentary about oppression. 

Get Out featured Daniel Kaluuya as a black man trying to escape entrapment by his white girlfriend’s parents, and served as a statement on microaggressions and racism, while Us starring Lupita Nyong’o showed viewers the hypocrisy of classism and capitalism. Peele went in a slightly different direction with Nope, a social commentary on human behavior, specifically the need for spectacle. 

The movie starts with a quote from the Old Testament Book of Nahum and God’s punishment for the “wicked city” of Nineveh. God threatens to befoul the people of Nineveh for not changing their wicked ways and turn them into a spectacle. Nope is the cautionary tale on the tendency to try to monetize spectacle can be life-threatening. 

The cast was nothing short of amazing. Keke Palmer (Born and raised in nearby Robbins) and Daniel Kaluuya play the horse-wrangling sibling duo of OJ and Emerald Haywood, who struggle to financially support their family’s ranch after the death of their father. They acquire the help of Angel Torres (Brandon Perea), a UFO conspiracy theorist who works as a tech specialist for a local electronics store and set off to capture a picture of Jean Jacket—the nickname given to the alien by OJ—using it to get rich. Steven Yeun also stars as the washed up, ex-child actor Ricky “Jupe” Park who fell into moderate obscurity after the cancellation of his show. 

Be warned. There are potentially triggering scenes – animal abuse, animal attacks, worse.

If you aren’t a fan of any of those, you should say nope to Nope. 

Plus, there are jump scares and content one might expect in a horror flick. This is not for children. 

But if your maturity level is as high as your tolerance for tension and spilled plasma, it is clear there’s a reason Peele is praised for his third film. The writing, editing, acting and everything in this movie made it feel like art. Peele’s sense of dedication is palpable. 

After spending a summer in cineplexes, Nope, a story about a spectacle, is streaming on Peacock, Amazon Prime, Vudu and Apple TV.