Wednesday, November 8, 2023


 Nope is a science fiction horror film.  It is available on Amazon Prime.

A brother and sister struggle to run a Hollywood horse-training farm after the death of their father (Keith David from Cloud Atlas.)  Meanwhile, their neighbor (Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead) is running a nearby Western and UFO themed mini amusement park tourist trap.  They all begin to suspect that something alien and dangerous is moving around in the clouds.  The story plays out like a science fiction version of Jaws.

The film makes good use of sound.  We hear faint sounds in the distance that might be screaming.

The movie has a huge plot hole because the characters suspect that something in the clouds is killing people, but they don't try to contact the authorities.  Instead, they want to film this danger so that they can make money and become famous.  Had they contacted the police and successfully made their case, the issue would have escalated up the hierarchy until it eventually provoked a military response.

The movie starts with a truly bizarre scene where a young version of the Steven Yeun character is playing in a '90s sitcom.  A trained chimpanzee on the show goes berserk and kills most of the people on the set.  This is not far-fetched, since chimpanzees are extremely aggressive and violent.  At first, it is hard to understand why this scene is in the movie, but the film later tries to make the point that trained wild animals can still be dangerous, and this just might have something to do with whatever it is in the clouds.

I have often said that cheap science fiction typically will have only one good idea, and those movies stretch their one good idea out for 90 minutes, or in the case of this film, 2 hours.  The story is rather clever, but the pace of the film is a bit too slow.  Fortunately, unlike most films of this genre, they don't wait till the end of the movie for the big reveal.  We get the big reveal halfway through, and the remainder of the film is about the characters responding to it.  As such, the film is more exciting than films like The Vast of the Night, The Signal, Monsters, and Annihilation.  Even though these movies were entertaining, nobody cares about them anymore because their lack of substance made them forgettable.

Despite the rather slow pace, especially in the first half which spends much time building up the story, Nope made me care about these characters enough to keep me involved.  

Rating:  B.

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