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Sunday Scaries: Setting Horror Expectations for Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope’

Universal Pictures
“Get Out” (2017) Cinematography by Toby Oliver

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! This time around, we’re taking a look at one of the most anticipated horror films of 2022…

In just a day or two (depending on when you’re reading this, since my screening is on Tuesday), I’ll be seeing Jordan Peele‘s Nope. The filmmaker, who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with his directorial debut Get Out, quickly became an A-list horror maestro. Following that movie up with Us made him a storyteller people were even more invested in. Now with Nope, could the third time be the charm and take the genre to even bigger heights?

Universal Pictures

When I previewed the film in a prior Sunday Scaries installment (here) on anticipated 2022 fright flicks, I had this to say:

 I mean, this is obvious, right? Jordan Peele‘s latest is a complete unknown, but after winning an Oscar for Get Out and following it up with Us, he’s earned our trust. He trusts himself, too, since you don’t title something Nope without it. This is the horror title that has the most Academy Award buzz, too, which makes it a must see on several levels.

With Nope, Peele is mixing some science fiction with his horror. The log line has the residents of a small town in California dealing with a mysterious force. The trailers have made it pretty clear that it’s aliens, with some sort of a UFO visiting them. Could Nope be an acronym in addition to a title, possibly standing in for Not Of Planet Earth? Potentially. Either way, below you’ll see a few things that I think we should all have in mind before our screenings this coming week/weekend…

“Us” (2019) Cinematography by Mike Gioulakis

First off, expect it to be different than Get Out or Us. The sci-fi element certainly will be a factor in that, but Peele hasn’t done the same thing twice yet. So, he clearly deserves as open a mind as possible, without any preconceived notions. His television work, or the action comedy Keanu didn’t prepare you for Get Out, just like that blast of originality is quite a different experience from Us. If Nope isn’t another direction entirely, that will be surprising on its own.

Next, don’t mark it down for Academy Award attention just yet. While his first flick scored plenty of Oscar love, Peele’s follow-up was shut out. This one obviously has the chance to split the difference, but even if it’s amazing, voters aren’t reliable when it comes to genre fare. At best, it’s a looming X factor in the race.

Finally, just enjoy whatever Peele has in store for us, no pun intended. Nope is intentionally keeping almost all of its surprises up its sleeve, so give yourself over to the ride. If you do that, regardless of what happens, you’re likely to enjoy yourself. It’s an event horror film, which doesn’t come along too often, so soak it all in! Do that, have fun, and stay tuned for my review and more coverage, perhaps even in next weekend’s Sunday Scaries…

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next week!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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