“Nope” 2022 explained



It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a flying saucer and sociopathic chimp? It’s hard to condense this film down into an article. 

The one and only Jordan Peele has done it again. This director is known for his new approach on the horror genre, as his films tie in the idea of race and deep connections to the audience and the world with classic horror tropes. He has quickly become a clear face of the horror genre. Most famously known for his films “Us”(2019) and “Get Out” (2017), Peele’s new film released this summer had a lot to live up to. Luckily, “Nope” is an incredibly complex work with details that are very easy to miss or not acknowledge to a full extent. This is “Nope” (2022) explained.

Spoiler warning!

The movie starts out in a seemingly weird and unsettling way. The credits roll to the audio of a sitcom show. It then cuts to an image of a bloody chimp on a movie set next to a dead human body. If this wasn’t enough for an opening scene, an ominous looking shoe standing straight is seen in the background. 

Then, the movie cuts to a father and a son on a horse farm. This introduces one of our main characters – OJ Haywood – portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya, who also starred in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”. 

We hear voices screaming from above and see the power go off on the farm. Metal objects then begin to fall from the sky. We see OJ’s father get killed by a coin falling into his eye,  and OJ using one of his horses- named Lucky- on a movie set with his sister Emerald, played by actor Keke Palmer. The siblings are the descendants of the man filmed in the first motion picture of all time “Horse in Motion”, but OJ’s gig is unsuccessful when a horse being used spooks and kicks out at a crew mate.

The siblings go to a farm show to sell horses where the audience is  introduced to the buyer Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park, played by Steven Yeun. We learn that Jupe starred in the sitcom Gordy’s Home as a child and has a room full of treasures and prized possessions from the show. The opening shot  of the bloody chimp resulted from an infamous episode gone wrong in the show. 

The power continues to randomly go out, and faint screaming voices continue to be heard by Emerald and OJ, along with a fast moving circular shape that is hidden in the cloud cover. Horses begin to disappear from the farm and the siblings believe a UFO is taking them: they become devoted to getting photo evidence of this in order to make a profit. 

They meet an employee named Angel at a tech store who begins to assist them with their objective. However, as the UFO-like creature hiding in the clouds is seen by the siblings, the recording devices Angel gave them goes out, not allowing them to get video footage. They receive aid from Antlers Hoslt hire a famous cinematic videographer.

“Nope” then shows more of the infamous “Gordy’s Home” episode and sees that the popping of balloons triggered Gordy’s outburst on set. A frightening scene where  Gordy the chimp mauls  some of the actors to death is shown with gruesome sound and visual effects. We see a bloody Gordy crawl up to Jupe who is hidden beneath a table and proceed to fist bump him, seconds before the animal is shot and killed. 

Cutting back to the present day, we see Jupe luring the flying saucer like creature with a horse to show to the horse show  audience his so-called “Star Lasso Experience.” The performance, however, goes wrong, and everybody in the audience is eaten and suffocated to death by the creature in a spine-chilling sequence. OJ sees both the aftermath and the creature, and confirms that it is an animal rather than a ship. The animal proceeds to drop an excess of blood over the farm. It is a beautifully crafted and petrifying scene. 

Antlers begins to help OJ and Emerald with getting a camera shot of the animal. They use sky dancers, which are the inflatable figures commonly seen in front of car dealerships, so they can see when the power goes off. That indicates when the creature -nicknamed “Jean Jacket”- is nearby. 

A stranger who wants to get a camera shot of Jean Jacket is sucked up and killed after ignoring countless warnings from Emerald. Antlers gets the shot, but then goes out of his safe zone with his camera, seemingly wanting a closer view. He is immediately killed and eaten by Jean Jacket. 

Emerald manages to take a photo by luring the creature with a giant balloon from over a well that is equipped with an old fashioned film camera. Emerald gets the shot and Jean Jacket is killed from ingesting the balloon. The ending of the film is packed with suspense, and everything seemingly is resolved, as the movie concludes with a sibling reunion. The plot seems straightforward. Now, here is everything that you may not have picked up on your first watch around. 

The two plot points of the Jean Jacket and Gordy’s home accident seem random and unrelated. The movie, however, followed two major ideas throughout.

The first idea touches on spectacle and the public eye. The Gordys home incident was tragic and traumatizing for all parties involved. However, years later Jupe uses it to show the public  and profit from an audience. The room that Jupe has in his office is full of pieces from the set Jupe uses to make money. He even says that a couple paid $50,000 to spend a night there, and told Emerald that he normally charges people to come see the room. The idea of using a traumatizing experience for profit demonstrates the idea of how the public reacts to spectacles. We want to see crazy things that don’t seem real and are drawn to the chaos. 

Further adding to this message, the movie also begins with a bible verse, Nathum 3:6 which reads, “I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle”, seeming aimed at Jean Jacket and Gordy from the view of the characters of this piece. Furthermore, the entire situation with Jean Jacket and Jupe also represents that fact. Jupe continues to exploit tragedy when profiting and forming a whole business out of the spectacle that is the animal. 

A second idea explored within “Nope” is how you can’t tame something that is wild. We see this through the entire film, just with the fact that the siblings run a horse farm. They try to tame their animals yet are not successful: as we see when OJ and Emerald take their horse Lucky to a movie set. This is also seen with Jupe as he tries to tame Jean Jacket and get the creature to do what he wants, which ultimately results in disaster when he and the audience of his show are eaten alive. This is shown again with Gordy! Using the ape in a show for public entertainment resulted in tragedy, as prepared as the producers thought that they were or could be. Wild things are unpredictable, and some things just cannot be tamed as much as people think that they can be.

The idea of eye contact as a set off also plays an important role in this film. When Jupe is hiding under the table from Gordy, a tablecloth is covering his face. That could be why Gordy fist bumped him and did not attack. This is proved throughout the movie with Jean Jacket only attacking if you make eye contact with the creature and even in the beginning with the horses, OJ warns the crew not to look Lucky in the eye in order not to spook him. When a mirror is put in the horse’s face and it makes eye contact with a crew member, the horse kicks out. This represents the wild animal aspect of things even further, showing the ways in which wild animals should be treated and what provokes them. 

The film also ties in further ideas prevalent in today’s society. The entire goal of the movie was to get a picture or video recording of Jean Jacket. They needed visual proof that nobody would believe them. Antlers even sacrifices his life to try to get the perfect shot along with a biker who comes along looking to do something similar. This shows the extent that people will go for money and to prove their righteousness goes beyond limits.

Another aspect of this film that seemed to stump a lot of viewers was the shoe. During the tragedy that occurs on the Gordy’s Home set, we see a sinister looking shoe standing straight up. We see the shoe again in Jupes room of memories. This seems supernatural. While the film never truly addresses this coincidence, there are several speculative theories. The shoe is known as a “bad miracle.” We also heard OJ and Emerald talking about their fathers death-  a coin falling from the sky- and how that was a bad miracle earlier on in the film. The whole situation with Jean Jacket is a bad miracle. It seems impossible. Peele never answers the question of the significance of the shoe, but it could represent how unexpected bad things happen are unexplained and nothing can be done about it.

Overall, this film is incredibly complex and holds so much depth, similarly to previous Jordan Peele films. There is so much more to pick up on and every re-watch you seem to understand more and more. It discusses various ideas about the dangers of Hollywood and the extent that our society will go to for things that they want. It constantly makes you say “Nope!” in the best possible way. Peele did a fascinating job on this work and his works only seem to be getting better and better. The world is patiently awaiting his next big hit, and it is only a matter of time.