This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU being covered here wouldn’t exist.
When the proverbial snot hits the fan, the default response is to go to the police or find someone for aid. What happens when your neighbors hate you or the whole town is against you? What happens when there is no one to call for help? Well, as writer/director Brian Duffield might say, NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU. At least, not in his latest film titled, well, you guessed it. What starts off as a simple home invasion turns into something more in this psychological sci-fi thriller. With plenty of action, tension, and some rather wtf moments, this film is an entertaining ride.
Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever) is a creative, albeit lonely woman. When she’s not crafting commissions for others, she’s skulking about town trying to avoid any human interaction. Plagued by the past, her day goes like any other. That is until she wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of a loud thud. It’s not long before she realizes something is in the house with her and, without meaning to at first, she fights back.
When dawn arrives, what once might have been dismissed as a dream proves to be all too real. For Brynn, she becomes the target of these alien invaders, who progressively become more enamored with figuring out why it is she’s fighting back. Cause, of course, God forbid we fight back, right?
Practically fantastic and action-packed
The story starts simply enough, making one think that they understand where things are going next. Duffield keeps viewers on their toes. Just when you think you know where the story’s going, a new rug gets pulled out from underneath both the audience and Brynn. New foes, each one more dangerous than the next, follow, leaving us caught between a rock and a hard place wondering what is going to happen next. That feeling is delightful. Dever captures every thought and emotion that processes on Brynn’s face. With Aaron Morton‘s close-up shots zeroing in on her to illuminate every detail, we can feel her terror and will to survive.
Keeping NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU a mostly dialogue-free script helps to further immerse the audience in Brynn’s fight-or-flight-based decision-making. It also forces us to focus on the action. With no spoken words to distract, we can only hear the aliens and their vocalizations and Brynn’s desperate attempts to get away. Through the utilization of practical effects and brilliantly smart usage of both sound and Joseph Trapanese’s score, the danger feels palpable. By the film’s end, if you don’t hear another little chitter chitter coming from anywhere again, you’ll feel relieved.
Speaking of the film’s ending, it is one that might give viewers pause. It’s one that requires a couple of replays to let it fully sink in. Whether or not the execution of the film’s final minutes is successful is still left up in the air. However, it is unsettling and perhaps, that is the takeaway.
NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU and its aliens
As aliens go in alien invasion films of recent years, the decision to choose a more stereotypical one is a bold one. It also sets up the audience’s expectation built into the inherent fragility the little green men have to their willowy bodies. As NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU progresses, audiences find out how incredibly wrong we were to think these things weren’t a threat. How Duffield approaches the constant evolution of these aliens keeps us guessing, and frankly, puts the fear back into the idea of little green men.
That said, the design and execution of the CGI aren’t the best. While it provides more wiggle room to do certain things later in the film. when one considers the usage of practical effects for some of the alien’s powers, a practical creature or some cheating around with the camera might have helped aid in immersing us further. As is, it with how unreal the CGI is in integration, it does take one out of the scenes sometimes.
NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU takes chances that mostly pay off. Once the ball gets rolling and a full grasp of the invasion really kicks in for both the viewer and Brynn, it’s hard to look away. We have to see if Brynn survives. We have to see if she overcomes every single obstacle that these beings throw at her. Sure, the aliens might not seem like a threat at first, but they very much are. And, at the end of the day, the only one who can save us is, well, ourselves.
NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU begins streaming on Sept. 22, 2023, exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories.
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