THE STORY – Brynn finds solace within the walls of the home where she grew up until she’s awakened one night by strange noises from unearthly intruders.
THE CAST – Kaitlyn Dever, Zack Duhame, Geraldine Singer & Dane Rhodes
THE TEAM – Brian Duffield (Director/Writer)
THE RUNNING TIME – 93 Minutes
“No One Will Save You” is the kind of film that’s best experienced by knowing as little about it as possible. And yet, it’s such a simple, straightforward story that there’s almost nothing to spoil. This no-frills approach to its woman vs. alien tale is exactly what makes this new sci-fi thriller so effective. It’s minimal yet consistently exciting, thanks mainly to a captivating performance by the always-reliable Kaitlyn Dever, who never leaves the screen and hardly even utters a word.
Dever’s character, Brynn, lives alone in a large, isolated house. She spends her days crafting, drinking wine, and learning old-timey dances. She also continually writes letters to an unseen, mysterious recipient. One day, her simple life is interrupted by an unexpected visitor who’s clearly not of this world. How will she defend herself from this space invader who’s invaded her space?
Dever portrays a near shut-in with clear apprehensions about interacting with the outside world. Slowly, across the course of the film, the audience is given clues as to what exactly led to her self-isolation. These morsels of information are doled out in clever ways that only make those watching lean in, eager to learn more about Brynn’s enigmatic backstory. Since Brynn lives alone and doesn’t interact with many earthly beings during the film, Dever gives a virtually wordless performance, meaning she must rely entirely on her expressions and physicality to sell her character’s emotions. Dever is totally up to the task, with her magnetic presence and control over her face helping to keep the audience invested in her well-being. The final shot is particularly haunting, thanks entirely to her unplaceable expression. All in all, it’s the kind of effective, charismatic performance that fans of Dever should come to expect, but it’s still undeniably impressive.
Smartly, the film wastes little time establishing the threat facing our main character. The first otherworldly intruder makes an appearance mere minutes into the film, and the movie doesn’t slow down from there. It’s essentially one giant chase film where Brynn must continually outmaneuver the aliens and adapt to their menacing tactics. As far as their design goes, the extraterrestrials are nothing groundbreaking. However, their psychic abilities and the physical and vocal actions they use to activate them are consistently – and unnervingly – creative. To conjure up their vocal abilities, the film employs a creative sound design. The aliens’ calls are always alarming whenever they’re heard, and they’re mixed in a way that completely envelops the audience in the terrifying experience in which Brynn finds herself.
This sense of dread is conjured through nearly every filmmaking trick the director has at his disposal. The editing is sharp and deliberate, keeping up the pace in a way that saves a potentially repetitive film from feeling tedious. Additionally, the camera placements are wisely varied, avoiding the shot-for-TikTok look that some streaming shows and movies unfortunately have. However, the quality of the visual effects is often unimpressive, occasionally betraying the palpable tension the film evokes. Still, the non-practical elements are employed in clever ways and shot in a manner that usually covers up their falsehood. It also must be noted how charming Brynn’s house and outfits are – cottagecore enthusiasts will be pleased.
“No One Will Save You” is an uncomplicated package of tension with practically no dialogue (the screenplay must’ve been relatively short), instead relying on Dever’s performance and filmmaking techniques to set the tone and keep the audience invested. It’s a fun little treat, tailor-made for thrill-seekers.