Nopehas, a film by Jordan Peele, has once again inspired debate on how to treat film crews. He begins the film with Emerald (Keke Palmer) and O.J. (Daniel Kaluuya), who run a horse training company. And then he nearly kills the whole group when he takes one last look at the creatures inside. So, what is the deal? Holst, played well by Michael Wincott, appears to represent both the inventiveness of craftsmen and the
Holst does provide some good to the crew. He agrees to record Jean Jacket after seeing the disappearance and damage he can cause at the ranch of Jupes (Steven Yeun). He does this because he is willing to take a risk and do something worthwhile, while also assisting Angel (Brandon Berea) in preserving the film.
The majority of the positive from what we see from Holst is that he is not seen in much of the film, with most of his scenes being small bits, so it's difficult to get a grasp of him. What is shown suggests that he may wish for more fame and thrills than necessary for this project, however subdued they may be.
He is completely disinterested with Emerald's commercial about Lucky the (aptly named) horse on the set. Perhaps after decades of doing the same work in the film industry over and over, he is trying to feel something, something like a jolt. From horse training to the tragic accident on set involving Gordy, he just observes, learns, and maybe even kills animals.
Holst's seemingly passive disposition toward those almost predicts his final mistakes. He already has the main shot of Jean Jacket, but he goes too far to get one more, ruining his camera, the film, and everything the group devoted to creating an even better picture. Holst makes one wrong move towards spectacle, but instead releases his most hateful habits.
Even his first name Antlers ties him to animals. No, it wouldn't be the film that names a critical character after a part of a deer that is used for display and defense and that people pay thousands for to purchase or hunt. Holst appears to be both sides of the prize aspect, while also painting another, juicier picture to hang on his mantle.
The idea of spectacle mentioned in the opening bible passage is repeated several times in the film. Jupe directly says the word in his first conversation with Emerald and O.J. and like Holst, dies when he thrives to achieve spectacle by bringing out Jean Jacket. Holst made a rash decision after getting a rush he had not felt in decades working in films and on sets, disregarding the obvious difficulties that looking at the alien would bring to him and everyone else.
Holst put his crew at risk for the sake of getting the money shot, but the bottom line ultimately kills Jean Jacket. With the balloons that sparked Gordy, he makes the same mistake as the producers on Gordys Home!
Holst is a tragic figure in the film. He falls for the same problems that have harmed so many creatives for profit. At times, he displays the inventiveness of the artists that brought him on the project and falls deeper into the pit. Nope is a powerful reminder of where the darkness may lead you if you allow the quest spectacle to go.