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About 20 minutes into watching new sci-fi thriller No One Will Save You, I said to myself, “Wait, has anyone spoken in this yet?” Sure, there had been sound. Lots of very interesting, creepy sounds. And there’d been music too; evocative, atmospheric music. But little to no dialogue. Which is exactly when I realized “Oh, this is something different.”
No One Will Save You is now on Hulu and it’s the latest film from writer-director Brian Duffield, who made a name for himself writing fun genre films (Underwater, Love and Monsters) and directing the standout horror comedy Spontaneous. This is slightly more serious than all of that though. No One Will Save You stars Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12, Booksmart) as Brynn, an anxious young woman living a life of seclusion. We’re introduced to her for a brief few minutes—but almost before we’ve even taken a bite of popcorn, she has to deal with aliens invading her home.
So things start there. The fear of aliens coupled with the terror of home invasion, and Duffield captures it all beautifully, utilizing the full frame to amp up tension and suspense. Dever, too, is magnificent, doing her best to stay composed in one of the most terrifying scenarios imaginable. And if No One Will Save You was just 90 minutes of that, it would be a winner.
But things move on from there. And escalate. And at each turn, just when you think you have things exactly figured out, Duffield pulls out the rug from underneath your feet. A scene on the bus does that. A scene in a police station does that. An early morning wake-up does that. The script whips the audience around like a ragdoll with plenty of twists and turns, mixed in with short, intense action set pieces.
And still, there’s no dialogue; at first, this seems like a liability but then becomes an asset. You begin to anticipate when, or if, actual words will be spoken, who will speak them, and what they will say. This eventually pays off in the film’s emotional climax, and the minimal dialogue has the cumulative effect of making the character feel more alone—no one will save her, after all—and only adds to the film’s unique voice.
Another thing that’s unique about No One Will Save You is that in a film with almost no dialogue, one star, and one primary set, you’d expect it to be elusive with the aliens. That, surely, would be more typical of a streaming movie like this, right? But from that first alien home invasion scene five minutes in, through level upon level of escalation, Duffield never hides his creatures. In fact, he not only embraces them, he showcases them. The camera lingers on the creatures, letting us study them and be curious about them. We’re almost a mirror on the film itself, curious about them just as they’re curious about the humans whose planet they’re invading. That choice not only gives the film more scope, it adds a whole other layer of intrigue and fun.
However, once all is said and done, the ride ends up being a little more rewarding than the destination. Duffield has a goal here and once it’s revealed, it too is as surprising and interesting as everything that’s come before. But all of that preamble has been so riveting and entertaining that by the time the film ends and gives us its grandiose finish, the ending doesn’t match the emotionality of the rest.
Even so, No One Will Save You is still a winner. It’s the perfect film to throw on any night of the week for a fun experience that’ll make you jump, make you think, and maybe even make you cry. Dever more than proves that she can command a movie on her own, and Duffield once again shows that he’s got some of the best eyes for original genre stories in the biz.
Watch No One Will Save You on Hulu now.
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