10 Movies Like Jordan Peele’s Nope You Should Watch
If his past films are any indication, Jordan Peele’s upcoming UFO horror film Nope is going to give us a lot to think about. Expectations for the movie are high, with many hoping for Peele’s blend of celebrating and subverting many horror tropes with social commentary. All you can really gather from the trailer is that there are visitors from another world, references to the history of American filmmaking, and a cast of terrified onlookers that includes Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, and Steve Yeun.
This can make suggesting movies like Nope to check out a bit difficult. Still, we know Jordan Peele loves movies, horror most of all. We know he’s an exceptional filmmaker at building upon what he loves in a meaningful, unique way. The man hasn’t missed yet, and there’s no reason to suspect Nope will change that.
This should be enough to get you to see Nope. Keeping all of this in mind, we can also come up with a pretty good list of similar or adjacent movies to watch. Whether you want to see a few UFO/alien invasion films before its release, or if you want a few films to watch after seeing Nope for yourself, this collection of films will help.
Movies Like Nope
10. Body Snatchers (1993)
Director: Abel Ferrara
Is the 1993 Abel Ferrara adaptation of Jack Finney’s classic science-fiction horror classic the best movie version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Probably not, but Body Snatchers is nonetheless one of the most underrated horror movies of the 90s. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this version, featuring a truly frightening performance by Meg Tilly, you should make some plans to change that.
The invasion of plant-like aliens, replacing humanity one dupe at a time by turning them into zombie-like pod beings, is expressed as a powerful, calculated wave. Doom is immediate and suffocating throughout this film.
Body Snatchers, working from a script that featured contributions from the likes of Larry Cohen and Stuart Gordon, finds new ways to show the death of humanity in the face of an unstoppable otherworldly force. While Jordan Peele’s Nope doesn’t seem like a Body Snatchers kind of story, this is a filmmaker whose horror works enjoy breaking down society to some degree. You may find an energy throughout Nope similar to what you get here.
The comparisons between Jordan Peele’s Nope and the masterwork of epic filmmaking Close Encounters of the Third Kind have already begun in earnest. A little research at least suggests some of his upcoming film might be inspired by the 1977 classic. What we know for certain is that Peele is naturally a great admirer of one of the most famous directors who has or will ever live.
Regardless of how Nope actually unfolds, the comparisons to Close Encounters are inevitable. We’ll see if Nope has any of the optimism to be found in Spielberg’s film about a group of mostly unconnected people whose lives are shaken and transformed after coming into contact with extraterrestrials. More probable is that Nope will evoke the almost sinister mystery and palpable suspense that informs the first half of Close Encounter.
Haven’t seen it? Great performances, spectacular special effects, and one of the best endings in film history are waiting for you.
They don’t come much weirder than the 1989 curiosity Communion. Based on a non-fiction book by Whitley Strieber, the film aspired to present an unparalleled depiction of a UFO encounter. The film itself presents its bizarre story with wild visuals and a sometimes-ridiculous high-end exploitation movie vibe.
Grounding this madness is a performance by Christopher Walken, who gives the film a focus and sense of empathy for its characters. Even if you find the movie to be quite silly, Walken is particularly compelling as an author whose comprehension of all things is dramatically reshaped.
One of the first mainstream films to deal directly with actual accounts of alleged abductions, Communion can be compared to Nope on that point alone. Hopefully, and Communion has some genuine creepiness to its style, Nope will be just a little less silly.
One of the greatest and most enduring science fiction films of all time, The Day the Earth Stood Still is still a captivating experience.
The film focuses on an alien visitor (a terrific Michael Rennie) who comes to Earth with a dire warning, only to eventually experience the best and worst of what humanity has to offer. Under the assured, impassioned direction of the great Robert Wise, and utilizing better-than-average-for-the-50s special effects and a memorable score, the film has all the elements of a perfect cinematic experience from start to finish.
It’s easy to compare the basic framework of this film to Nope. Both concern visitors from a place that is not our own. The Day the Earth Stood Still brilliantly establishes tension with the premise from the start, only for the film to delve into themes of peace and forgiveness. Its message holds up well today.
The Day the Earth Stood Still is must-see sci-fi for a reason. There’s also an inferior 2008 remake, which is nonetheless still better than some people claim.
Another film on this list that’s based on a non-fiction book, Fire in the Sky takes its story of four men who witness their friend (the underrated D.B. Sweeney) being abducted by a UFO rather seriously. The performances by its main cast (particularly the always-great Robert Patrick) gives this otherwise fantastical story a sense of striking plausibility.
Even if you don’t believe Travis’ story of what happened to him that night, and many don’t, Fire in the Sky still creates effective empathy for what he goes through. Good performances aside, and keeping in mind that the movie’s ending leaves something to be desired, Fire in the Sky is also notable for offering what might be the scariest alien abduction scene of all time.
Nope is already promising something terrifying that seemingly involves people being taken by visitors. You may find yourself in the mood for a movie where the aliens are as scary as they are clinical in what they do.
Known primarily as one of the best writers and performers of comedy working today, Jordan Peele took the horror genre by storm with the massive success of 2017’s Get Out.
Love or hate this movie of a young African-American man’s discovery that his girlfriend’s wealthy family hides a terrifying secret, Get Out became one of the most politically charged horror films to capture public attention in recent memory. It was praised for not only telling a strong, unique story with distinctive, interesting characters, but for addressing a number of social topics within its structure. Without sacrificing social commentary for scares or vice-versa, Get Out has been rightly praised for being one of the best directorial debuts of the modern era.
Those who are curious about Peele’s next film, but haven’t seen this one, may want to get on that soon. Daniel Kaluuya proved to be an acting powerhouse as the protagonist here, and we’re all ready to see the next stage in his ongoing collaborations with Peele.
Chances are, Independence Day and Nope are only going to be relatable by plot. It seems unlikely that Nope is going to become a cavalcade of alien dogfights, action movie quips, and so, so many explosions.
Independence Day proves entertaining with all of those features (and more), though it and Nope take two very different approaches to the same concept of something from outer space that’s probably not too terribly friendly.
Nope is likely to get into something deeper and more psychologically-driven than what you experience with Independence Day. If you want movies like Nope to check out, and you’re in the mood for something loud, ridiculous, and just as fun, this 1996 film from director Roland Emmerich will be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
ID4 still delivers on chaotic, satisfying action set pieces, big movie performances from Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman, and FX that still looks pretty good indeed. Don’t take any of this too seriously. No one really did in 1996, and that’s probably why it still has fans to this day.
Another film that has drawn comparisons to Nope, those who want to get ready for Jordan Peele’s next release will want to either rewatch this or experience it for the first time.
Signs seems to be spiritually similar just for the way it starts with a sense of normalcy and breaks that down. A film in which alien visitors arrive after leaving indications of their existence in crop fields around the world, Signs has an amazing buildup to the big reveal.
We know the aliens are coming almost immediately in this movie, in which a retired reverend (Mel Gibson) is forced to confront his beliefs and his sorrow, while also protecting his family (Rory Culkin and Joaquin Phoenix) from a threat he doesn’t understand or even fully accept. The movie works well with the dynamic and deeper relationships of this family, and how those elements play out when something completely unknown is getting ready to bust down your front door.
We care about these characters, but we also remain riveted and even frightened by what’s going on around them. Signs is a tricky balancing act that still comes across with impressive skill.
The Vast of Night begins in the shadow of a deep, almost unfathomable mystery. Two young children investigate an unknown radio frequency cropping up in their small New Mexico town. The ensuing investigation hints at a global conspiracy of control and manipulation, but who can say? The Vast of Night is ultimately a film more about the journey than the destination.
More specifically, it’s about the possibilities surrounding the journey. You could say that this enormously creative film from writer/director Andrew Patterson (co-written with Craig W. Sanger) is a story about the fragility of the human condition. There are in fact several interesting ways to interpret a film that will likely leave you with more questions than answers.
The connection to Nope is easy to appreciate here, and the desire to connect with intelligent life beyond this planet is understandable. Unfortunately, the results may not be very positive.
As far as many are concerned, Jordan Peele’s second film Us avoids a sophomore slump for one of the most engaging directors working today. While perhaps seemingly a little less focused than Us, the story of a mysterious invading force of beings that are seemingly clones of humans is as uniquely told as it is visually shocking.
One thing we’re learning about Peele as a horror director is that he loves to set a very thorough, almost disarming stage, before we get to the shift into something darker. Most horror movies do this, sure, but Peele’s work thus far has been particularly fun in just how intense that sharp turn can get. For both this and Get Out, even with the ominous tone of something just beyond normality, Peele has been masterful at setting up the perfect pleasant introduction to hell.
Nope appears to be setting itself up in a similar fashion. We’ve met some of the characters, and we’re clearly going to be placed very firmly in their comparatively normal reality before the skies begin to take on something that staggers the imagination.
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