If you were hesitant to get excited about No One Will Save You, the sci-fi horror genre has given you plenty of reason. While The X-Files made alien abduction conspiracy theories cool, plenty of movies fell pretty short of the mark. Yes, the moments of 90s thriller Fire in the Sky are chilling. But that scene in question is sandwiched by a pretty average thriller. For every Invasion of the Body Snatchers, there’s a Skyline, Dark Skies, or The Fourth Kind that underwhelms audiences. But writer and director Brian Duffield (Underwater, The Babysitter) has a knack for finding new life in tired genres. To date, most critics agree that Duffield has found a way to re-invigorate a tired concept.
In a small town, Brynn lives a solitary life in her mother’s old home where she mourns her mother and childhood friend, Maude. Sometime in the past, an unspoken tragedy – a mistake made by Brynn – has turned the entire community against her. When aliens descend on the town, taking control of its residents, Brynn knows she’s alone in her fight to survive.
No One Will Save You a Suspenseful Roller-Coaster Ride
From its opening scene, No One Will Save You immediately boasts impressive production values and better-than-expected insightfulness. Writer and director Brian Duffield’s use of Ruby Murray’s Knock on Any Door makes for a whimsical introduction to Kaitlyn Dever’s ‘Brynn’, while adding some dark foreshadowing. Little time gets wasted on backstory or introductions. At just over 90 minutes, No One Will Save You almost instantly introduces its alien threat to Brynn and, eventually, her larger community. Before 15 minutes has ticked off the clock, Duffield puts audiences on the edge of their seats.
Little time gets wasted on backstory or introductions. At just over 90 minutes, No One Will Save You almost instantly introduces its alien threat to Brynn …
What follows is a relentlessly tense and inventive sequence that pits Brynn against a telepathic alien. And just as it seems like the story will go in an expected direction, Duffield puts that thread to rest and goes in a different direction before returning to another nighttime alien siege. No One Will Save You is a frequently tense, suspenseful, and occasionally scary, sci-fi/thriller that feels fresh in spite of a familiar story. Yes, the alien design is classic and the concept of extraterrestrials using humans as hosts has been done many times. Yet Duffield freshens up the premise in a few key ways.
No One Will Save You Asks Big Questions with a Quietly Unsettling Finale
Arguably, Duffield’s boldest creative choice is the lack of dialogue in No One Will Save You. Over its 90 minute runtime. only a handful of works are uttered by any characters. Consistent with the lack of dialogue Duffield avoids offering audiences obvious answers to looming mysteries. That is, we know her community has ostracized Brynn. And we know she’s done something awful to a childhood friend. Aside from a flashback courtesy of an alien problem, No One Will Save You makes audiences cobble together the story from hints scattered throughout the thriller. It’s a narrative choice that ensures engagement even in those few moments when the action settles to a lull.
Despite the lack of dialogue, Kaitlyn Dever gives a star-making performance.
In addition to the lack of dialogue, No One Will Save You finds more meaning amongst its thrills than similar genre fare. That is, Duffield mines thorny questions about guilt and responsibility. A confrontation between Brynn and childhood friend Maude’s parents offers an emotionally blunt moment. And the finale is disturbing in a way that feels different – yet compatible – with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Despite the lack of dialogue, Kaitlyn Dever gives a star-making performance. Much of No One Will Save You hinges on Dever and she obliges in turn.
No One Will Save Your Earns Instant Classic Status
What looks like a rather standard alien abduction thriller immediately sets itself apart from the pack. Duffield makes simple, but bold, creative choices that elevate No One Will Save You above its premise. Both the lack of dialogue and narrative ambiguity turn a familiar premise into an engrossing thriller. Moreover, Duffield wastes little time pushing the story forward, which results in a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride from start to finish. Throw in a star-making turn from Kaitlyn Dever and No One Will Save You is one of the best genre movies of the year. And it’s like to be considered a classic in the future.