(some of you are going to to hate me for this, but here it is) NOPE was one of the most confusing, mixed movie experiences I've ever had. The good: It's written & directed by a black man with legit black characters not filtered through the caucasian perspective. That's a rare, very good thing The sub-plot involving Steven Yeun was overall strange and compelling His child actor experience on set with the rampaging chimpanzee was straight-up terrifying. Everything about it, especially the child's POV (you're hiding and too small to exactly see what's happening, but know it's bloody & horrifying) was creepy in the extreme. His final scene with the chimp--beyond terrifying. I also like the way his "primal television experience" was threaded throughout the overall narrative, so the viewer couldn't get too far away from it I like all the leads. These are characters I've never seen before; they stayed iconoclastic & individual throughout. My favorites were the taciturn lead, Daniel Kaluuya (so few lines, so much face- and eye-acting) and Brandon Perea as the bleached hair techie who never seemed to belong in any scene (in the story, I mean), but then seemed pivotal in many scenes The on-set scenes with the horse & all the "movie biz" types were laceratingly satirical, very effective (they all look human but are something else again) That scary "We fooled you!" scene with the 3 costumed kids in the barn (really scary) The visual use of/emphasis on cheezy amusement/theme parks (carried in from US) Cinematography of that compelling landscape and the horses, especially at night--spectacular There is directorial skill & "vision" galore here. NOPE is clearly the work of an auteur, an all-the-tools talent to be watched The confusing: I couldn't figure out Steven Yeun's adult character in the present. Was he crazy? Mentally scarred by his childhood experience? Or just another marginal guy running a marginal entertainment company on the outer fringes of LA? The monosyllabic, muttered line readings were nearly inaudible to me. It could simply be that I'm an old guy w/earplugs in (parts of this film were crazy loud)...but I missed a lot of words. Even some lines I heard clearly didn't become recognizable dialogue The whole role (purpose, nature of, behavior of) the alien space ship: I couldn't synchronize all the cues about the UFO cutting off power, then power back on, actions of the big colorful air figures vs UFO, wind, no wind. It all blurred for me. Example: guy on a motorcycle suddenly rides through the plain (his function in this story mystified me) on a high-tech motorycle. Apparently we're supposed to know it's an all electric motorcycle. I didn't know that & still don't That scene where he's speeding across the plain w/the others looking on & going (each in his/her own way) "Oh, no, he driving right into (X)." (I'm thinking, "What is X?) Then the bike cuts out & he crashes. More electromagnetic cues I didn't understand Daniel Kaluuya's character seemed to have something figured out about the UFO (don't look up; ride a horse; drag plastic flags & parachute behind the horse) but for the life of me, I couldn't catch up to all of it The UFO didn't look visually impressive or real to me while high in the sky--though it sure as hell did when it got very close to the ground & characters The mixed results of the UFO hoovering up people & things. It's OK w/barbed wire (sort of), but gets blown up by the giant air-filled "Bob's Big Boy" figure The "cinematographer" character (Michael Wincott)--fascinating, elliptical, unpredictable. Also inaudible (all lines muttered). Why was he hand cranking an ancient 70 mm film camera in that hostile, dust-filled environment? Why did he have a second, portable hand-cranked camera (which I'm not sure ever existed IRL)? I mean, What the fuck? Maybe I'm not Jordan Peele's audience demographic (too old, too white, too into structure & visual logic). Or maybe he's self-indulgent and willing to leave the audience confused & flailing at times... Overall, I'm impressed, but also confused.