In such a short period of time, Jordan Peele has established himself as a new master of horror, releasing films like the cerebral, racially charged Get Out (2017) and the doppelgänger home invasion psychological thriller Us (2019). Now, his newest and most mind-bending new film looms on the horizon, simply titled ‘Nope’.
From what can be discerned from the furtive new trailer, which recently dropped this month, this film recasts fan favorite Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, who is no stranger to horror herself, having previously starred in the MTV tongue-in-cheek slasher show Scream Queens, as a horse ranch-owning couple who are terrorized by bizarre and possibly extraterrestrial phenomena.
The overall premise takes more than a little inspiration from the real-life case of Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, a supposed hotbed of paranormal activity. But like his other films, Jordan Peele takes previously established convention and remoulds them as his own. The short trailer is interspersed with enough horrific imagery for ten more horror films, including uncanny clouds in the sky, a pale, black-eyed head peeking at Daniel Kaluuya’s character over a stable wall and people being sucked up screaming into the sky by a powerful, unknown force. It helps to establish a palpable sense of mystery that will plunge internet sleuths into obsessive investigations that would put the hunt for the Zodiac Killer to shame, in trying to figure out the film’s plot. All of this is juxtaposed to a dissonantly upbeat Stevie Wonder’s ‘Fingertips- Part 2’, which takes on a tone of impending doom within the context of the film. As well as Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, the film also has a wealth of talented and established actors, including Michael Wincott, Steven Yeun and Barbie Ferreira of Euphoria fame.
It may be called Nope, but for audiences, it’s a definite yes.