I’m just gonna say it: Jordan Peele is one of the best directors of our time. From the chilling Get Out horror and 2019’s Us, Jordan Peele is a modern filmmaker who gives you chills every time. Thankfully, we’re about to receive another taste of Peele’s great mind in NOPE.
Hitting cinemas on August 11, the plot of NOPE follows two ranch-owning siblings, OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer). After random objects begin falling from the sky, the duo attempt to figure out what the hell is going on. Other cast members joining the mayhem are Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea and Euphoria‘s Barbie Ferrera. Huge.
Just like Peele’s other horror movies, this film looks truly terrifying. I’m not kidding, I got goosebumps just watching the two-minute trailer. You’ve got suspense. You’ve got an intriguing family history. You’ve got an isolated ranch house, PLUS animals and people that are being affected by an invisible force.
My brain is already ticking away at theories for this film but rather than being patient until it’s in cinemas like a normal person, I turned to Reddit to start soaking up the fan theories because honestly, I can’t wait. If you also can’t wait then read on to soak up the fan theories and enter our competition for your chance to win a double pass to the special launch screening of the film in your state. Without further ado, here’s what the Internet is theorising about NOPE.
The horses… The HORSES
Firstly, we have to talk about the horses. Such a feature of the film, they’re even seen being “abducted” (if that’s really what’s happening) on the promotional poster. This wouldn’t be the first time that Peele has used animals as metaphors. They usually act as a foreshadowing or warning to the characters about what they’re going to face later on. Who could forget the Get Out character of Chris seeing himself in the mounted deer in the basement of the white Armitage family? *Shudders*.
Reddit user tianajade01 says, “Maybe it’ll be the classic alien invasion movie and the horses are a metaphor for what the aliens wanna do to humans.” Will Peele’s foreshadowing strike again? We’ll have to wait and see.
Mass Hallucination, Perhaps?
Okay, this one may be one of my favourite fan theories. User psiren66 suggests a mass hallucination event that explains why everyone is seeing these UFOs. “I’m going to go with gas leak in the town has everyone hallucinating about a UFO and it’s all an allegory for climate change!” User frankalope agrees, “I put my money on a climate change natural disaster allegory.”
This makes sense. Peele is known for his symbolism. Plus, the Haywood’s live out on a dry, dusty ranch, and we all know that farmers are currently at the frontline of climate change. Is there a gas leak on the ranch that’s affecting the animals and humans? Consider me intrigued.
I Always Feel Like, Somebody’s Watching Me
The beginning of the trailer sees the Haywood siblings standing in front of a film camera. They’re explaining the fact that the first assembly of photographs to create a motion picture was of a Black man on a horse. Turns out the man was their Great Great Great Grandfather. According to user driller2x, the focus of that scene is on the camera lens and the concept of documenting human behaviour. “I don’t know if it’s meant to simply represent that aliens are watching from above or if it plays into the ultimate mystery,” they write.
In the trailer, we also see two clips of people pointing cameras to the sky, a security camera that turns to the sky, and some creepy Daft Punk looking motorcyclist who is also filming in the sky. Of course, these could just be people attempting to capture the mysterious UFO, but perhaps it’s a statement on our constant social media use and data tracking. Creeeeeepy. “Peele wouldn’t rehash a cliche without putting a deeper layer of mystery over it,” says driller2x.
The Siblings ARE The Aliens
Is this one too obvious? Perhaps, but we love a we-were-there-all-along moment. Sadly, this theory comes from a deleted user (did they know too much?) but the post remains. “They [the siblings] are actually aliens and ‘Not Of Planet Earth’. In real life no one actually knows who the man is in the video with the “man riding the horse”. History tells us the horse’s name was “Sallie Gardiner” but no clue who the man is just that he’s black. So it would be easy for these 2 to come to earth maybe as refugees from their planet, [and] disguise themselves as humans (shape shifter style).”
Hold up. NOPE = Not Of Planet Earth?! Mind blown, if so.
If you’re like me and these fan theories have made you want to watch the movie even MORE, then you’re in luck. Universal Pictures is giving away 10 double passes per state to the preview screening of NOPE (complete with photo opps, booze, and popcorn!!) in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. All you have to do is tell us which of the above fan theories you agree with, and why to win. Easy pease.
Watch NOPE, in cinemas August 11.