Rather than spoon-feed moviegoers, writer/director Jordan Peele opts to challenge us with his stories, so much so that upon first viewing, I didn't quite grasp what Nope was really about. Yes, a softspoken horse wrangler's father dies suddenly and mysteriously, leaving the future of the struggling generations-old family business—supplying four-hooved stars to show business—in doubt.

The remote ranch becomes ground zero for some increasingly violent phenomena, and, being Hollywood folk, the family wants to record and monetize it. But there is also an entire subplot built largely from seemingly unrelated flashbacks. When I did finally wrap my mind around the deeper meaning of Nope, I couldn't help but scratch my head and wonder, with some disappointment, "This is what Mr. Peele is choosing to make a movie about now?" Still, there is at least one genuinely chilling moment and no shortage of unflinching suspense throughout, so be prepared to clutch the reins and hold on for a wild ride.

Captured by the director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema in various premium formats, Nope enjoys a crisp image in an aspect ratio that shifts between 2.2:1 for most of the film and 16:9 for the IMAX sequences. The strong HDR10 highlights in evidence are essential for selling the extensive use of day-for-night shots, although the stark shadows and other details betray this artificial technique. The colors are definitely strong, and the textures—sometimes kissed by a layer of fine prairie dust—are pleasing to the eye.

Without giving too much away (there are ample clues in the trailer), a lot is happening above us in this movie. So the height channels in this Dolby Atmos mix with TrueHD 7.1 core are certainly well-utilized, providing palpable presence with plenty of portentous movement, further sold by the realistic low frequencies. The sound designers often rely on discrete surround cues to great effect, as some of the most frightening moments occur off-screen, a clever choice that draws us into the action. As a whole, this track is best enjoyed on the louder side of the dial.

As with the disc release of Us, his previous film, Peele has eschewed an audio commentary. But we are given an hour-long "making of" in addition to five deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a pair of featurettes, one specifically about a central "character," so it's best not to click on it beforehand. A high-definition Blu-ray disc and a Movies Anywhere digital copy with the same bonus content is supplied.

Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray
STUDIO: Universal, 2022
ASPECT RATIO: 2.20:1/1.78:1
AUDIO FORMATS: Dolby Atmos with TrueHD 7.1 core
LENGTH: 131 mins.
DIRECTOR: Jordan Peele
STARRING: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Keith David