Hi everyone! I am back with another blog post. This week’s topic, since it is getting closer to Halloween, Is going to be a summary of the new horror comedy, Nope, thoughts I have on the film and reviews and comments from some of my friends!
To preface, I would HIGHLY encourage watching the film before hearing my interpretation and opinions. This film was fantastic to watch while only seeing hints from the trailer, and I suggest doing the same. Also, please note that this is my first-ever movie review, so if you see something I am doing wrong or could improve on, let me know! Otherwise, let’s begin!
Nope is a film starring two siblings, Emerald and O.J., who own a horse ranch that their newly deceased father left for them to take care of, as well as their side business of producing animals for Hollywood TV. After the mysterious death of their father, due to a coin falling from the sky and brutally leading to his death, suspicions of the items falling out of an airplane were later proven false. They start to notice a cloud in the sky that doesn’t look quite right… it hasn’t moved. They point out that clouds tend to move with the wind and change shape, but this one has kept its shape and is staying in one spot, just hovering over the mountains. As this is happening, a new theme park is in the town near the ranch. Em and O.J. are working with post-Hollywood star Ricky “Jupe” Park and the owner and founder of the new attractions. As they create a relationship with one another in Ricky’s office, he starts to explain what happened that fateful night in 1998. The show, Gordy’s Home, is graphically alluded to at the beginning of the film, leaving a cliffhanger for the audience to try and piece together. Gordy, a chimpanzee adopted as a primate child in the show, seemingly—randomly and brutally—attacks his co-stars in a fit of rage. Ricky, in the present, tells this story as a mysterious tale to the two siblings, but we, the viewers, find out he isn’t telling the whole truth. Shown as he tells his story, within a case in his secret office space, is a shoe with one spot of blood forever stained from the attack. The film flashes back and forth from what is happening in the present moment to the one incident so many years ago.
Ok, so what about the cloud? We soon find out, through a string of horse and human disappearances and the power fuses flickering on and off before something bad happens, that we are dealing with some sort of alien invasion. Just out of sight, a UFO appears, terrorizing the ranch and home of O.J. and Emerald. Through their discovery of the cloud-disguised UFO, Ricky’s theme park uses this to its advantage! He creates The Star Lasso Experience, a show about the mysterious alien UFO, and hypes up the entire town about this strange phenomenon. Including inviting one of his old co-stars, the audience getting a sneak peek of her face, deformed (assumingly) from the accident years ago; he attempts to share his new “friend” with the public, which leads to the death of himself and the rest of the audience, which then cuts to a gruesome scene of a girl being eaten alive from the inside.
We find out later in the film that this UFO ship is quite the opposite. It is alive! It is a living, breathing animal that changes into a huge floating mass of fabric skin. It stalks its prey by making eye contact, sucks everything that recognizes its presence, and spits out everything else that isn’t digestible. Creepy right?
After the event kills off the entire audience and staff, the ranch house where Em and O.J. live was then covered in blood as (I’d like to think) a way for the creature to mark its territory. It knew that they were investigating what it was doing, and it was right. The siblings and two other men they met along the way plotted out a way to defeat the beast that was taunting them. As they learned its ways, they set up a large trap covering the entire field that the ranch was on. Using thousands of blow-up men (like they use for car dealerships), Em on a motorcycle and O.J. on his horse, Lucky, they distracted the creature, dubbed “Jean Jacket” by the siblings. Between the back-and-forth chasing that this creature did between the two and the blow-up men falling over due to the power shortages, they were able to distract it as Em got a great idea. Since the creature was only able to notice the eyes of a person, horse, animal, or whatever else rather than the body, it would be fooled if there were to be a human balloon from the fair. In fact, there was! Emerald sped her way, Jean Jacket in tow, to the theme park and bravely cut the strings holding the balloon, and off it went.
In this picture-perfect scene, you are able to see the Jean Jacket unfold itself into a beautiful color green to prepare the balloon for its demise as it floats up into the sky. Honestly, this scene was one of my favorites in the whole movie. It was really artistic and animal-like how the end of the Jean Jacket’s life was taken by the balloon and the trickery of the humans below.
This was not necessarily the end however, we get one last glance at the massacre that happened in 1998. We get one last glance at the shoe from the case, standing upright, hearing screaming chimp noises in the background.
thoughts and theories
The Coin Killing the Father from the Sky: The coins and keys falling from the sky early on in the film made an impact at the start of the film, and we realize now that whatever, or whoever, the Jean Jacket ate before coming to the barn was eaten and their keys and change were discarded into the fields of this small town. These casualties ended up killing O.J. and Emerald’s father when a coin ended up deep in the man’s brain through his eye.
The Shoe: The shoe from some of the scenes and explained by Ricky in his office when explaining Gordy’s Home was theorized to not actually be standing up during the attack, but happens to be portrayed through trauma. Ricky saw this shoe on the ground as the symbol of all his trauma from the event and something of symbolic importance to him and the story.
Ricky’s Trauma: Ricky’s trauma from the experience really created a baseline for the film and why the nature of the Jean Jacket was elevated. Going back to the scene of the chimpanzee and Ricky. I didn’t mention this in the Summary, but the chimp spares Ricky. He ends up finding the young Ricky under a table after he seemingly killed the rest of their co-stars. He goes in for a fist bump before ultimately being shot by an unseen person out of view. Through losing someone he considered a friend, seeing the kindness of the rabid chimp’s heart, and then having to heal from the trauma of seeing his co-stars get murdered by this animal did a lot of damage to Ricky as a child.
The theme of Animal Exploitation: One of the most interesting theories that I heard and agree with is the continuous theme of animal abuse and exploitation for monetary gain and fame. From using the chimpanzee Gordy to the horses being used for Hollywood films to using the Jean Jacket as a publicity stunt, the animals in this film were not used kindly. The fame and money overtook the main and side characters of this film and were carried throughout the plot. Getting the “money shot,” capturing extraterrestrial phenomena to make money off of it, and Gordy’s Home being the first show of its kind to “train” a chimpanzee to be on a TV set with humans makes a really sick connection between the characters and a lesson being shown, as well as being terrifying of course.
I asked my friends that I went to see Nope with during the summer what they thought of the film and to leave a 5-star review. Here are some of their ratings:
***** 5/5 stars- “Monkey” [Tor]
**** 4/5 stars- “I like how they use the clouds to hide the monster instead of the dark, something new.” [Jackson]
***** 5/5 stars- “it was scary, and a lot of horror movies aren’t scary.” [Alex]
***** 5/5 stars- “I really don’t like horror movies, but this one has little to no jumpscares… just disturbing. I also loved the mix of comedy and horror aspects. It helped my brain relax a little.” [Kailee]
Thank you for checking out my first-ever movie review! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you go watch the film if you haven’t already! And as always… Make today great!