When Nope was first released, no one knew exactly what the plot would be. Jordan Peele’s trailer, as most do these days, gave away too much, showing a flying saucer falling from the sky, hinting that this will be his alien invasion film. There were, however, many fans who did not trust that idea. With Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele’s complicated mind gave us so many twists and turns.
There were good reasons to doubt the easy expectations after watching Nope. You won’t find a typical alien invasion film in Nope. Like Peele’s films, there’s much more going on this time around. What about that alien spaceship? What was most surprising was that it wasn’t even a ship but a creature.
In the weeks leading up to the big reveal, Peele provides the audience with nothing but questions. Is there a reason why coins are falling from the sky? Why are there chimp scenes everywhere? We know what film Peele is going to show us, though. A comparison has been made between his early work and the work of Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan.
It would be easy to assume that Peele’s Nope would be his version of Signs, but maybe with some additions regarding race or classism. In this scene, Peele played into those audience expectations by faking out the aliens.
The film’s first act begins with Haywood Hollywood Horse Ranch trainers OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) visiting Jupiter’s Claim and its owner Ricky Park (Steven Yeun).
Emerald and OJ have already sold a dozen horses to Ricky Park. In response to OJ’s mention of wanting to buy back the horses, Ricky tells the brother and sister the strange story of how a chimp named Gordy went on a homicidal rampage on the set of his childhood sitcom.
It is only later that we realize why Ricky is so quick to not talk about the horses. They’re gone. During his theme park’s big show, the Star Lasso Experience, he has been feeding his purchases to the alien creature in the sky.
While back at the ranch, Emerald and OJ have seen something not of this world in the clouds. After installing cameras around the property, OJ has a very close encounter with the UFO they are trying to catch. As OJ sits at home that evening, he hears strange noises coming from the barn.
Around a corner, he sees a short, alien-like figure peeking out at him. Then another, and another, and so on. Their faces are hard to make out. It’s blurry and far away, but with their big alien heads and thick furry bodies, it’s obvious they aren’t human. A great reminder of the cornfield scene in Signs, it’s incredibly creepy.
This is it, we’re already going to see the aliens in the movie. OJ wants photographic evidence, but as the aliens get closer, he becomes increasingly freaked out. Then, as another alien peeked from behind a corner where OJ lay frightened and unconscious, the alien removed its head. In fact, it’s a mask. There are three aliens dressed as children.
As they run away, they laugh and tell OJ not to mess with Jupiter’s claim. Later in the movie, the Star Lasso Experience shows the children, which leads the audience to believe they are Ricky’s children. That must mean that he sent them to scare OJ. Exactly why? He didn’t want him to ask him about his horses, did he? Do you think he wanted to scare OJ off so he could buy his ranch?
Related: The most disturbing moment in Nope wasn’t scripted
Ricky becoming alien food later in the series never gives us answers to those questions. Jordan Peele has a knack for knowing our expectations, getting us to lean into them and fearing what he shows, then turning the tables on us through the alien fake-out scene. Rather than being another traditional alien invasion film with little green men like Signs or so many other similar films, Jordan Peele’s answer is…no.
Robert Poirrer is a contributing author who covers Hollywood latest movie releases and web series for the MovieThop website. He has a decade of experience in writing movies based articles for numerous renowned media outlets. He is excellent at creating unique content based on emerging trends in a variety of categories especially entertainment, movies and lifestyle. When not writing articles you could find Robert enjoying mountain biking trips with his friends. He graduated in English Literature from North Carolina State University.