It’s no secret that Brian Duffield is mastering and experimenting with his own filmmaking style. From the insanely wild, coming-of-age Babysitter films to Universal’s absolutely crazy Cocaine Bear, Duffield has happily experimented with many different horror sub-genres with some impressive successes. In his newest film, No One Will Save You, Duffield takes a dive into the darker, thriller side of things with some genuine success.
No One Will Save You follows Brynn Adams (Kaitlyn Dever), an anxiety-ridden homebody who can’t quite find her place in her community for some event untold. However, one night, her home gets invaded by some intriguing aliens whose deeper motivations lie beneath their threatening presence.
Perhaps the last living survivor in her town, Brynn must now survive against these extraterrestrial dangers while accepting and overcoming her own traumatic childhood past.
What most people will look forward to right out of the gate is the fact that there is minimal dialogue spoken throughout the entirety of No One Will Save You. Save for one or two lines, the film’s tension is placed upon the slow, yet precise physicality and facial expressions of every actor.
Dever utilizes these two elements to their fullest: she manages to balance out Brynn’s sadness, regret, and fear in a way that isn’t overly emphasized in the moment, especially when she’s confronted by the aliens. The side cast also does great with this even if they appear for slight moments to make Brynn more aware.
In addition, the cinematography adds to that isolated terror, continually following on Brynn’s displacement from the rest of her community in a way that mostly doesn’t divert from Brynn’s survival.
Besides this, Joseph Trapanese’s soundtrack definitely works, inserting its own eerie undertone that accompanies the low-bellowing wallows of the alien threat even if, at times, it can be a little bit overbearing in the daytime scenes with Brynn’s plan of action.
Speaking about the action, Duffield manages to create the aliens, adequate enemies, for Brynn to face as the movie presents many unique variations ranging from long-legged behemoths to short-clawed varmints that allow Brynn to take different approaches to fight or run. Although, some of their visuals feel like they might need a little extra retouch.
While No One Will Save You may succeed in making its world terrifying and its characters unique, the biggest problem with this movie lies within its plot. More specifically, the film’s final third feels like it needed just a bit more time to carefully develop its emotional explanation.
Though the film’s primary focus is on Brynn’s survival in this invasion, it has an additional storyline where Brynn is coming to accept and forgive herself for her friend’s death. Tidbits are scattered throughout the movie, from Brynn’s letter-writing to Brynn confronting her friend’s parents, though it takes a back-and-forth sideline with Brynn’s cat-and-mouse chase with the aliens.
By the third act, the film feels like it focuses more on the unnerving suspicion about what Brynn experiences rather than her overcoming her regret for what she did. It continues to emphasize the horror of what the aliens have in store, especially in one scene where Brynn is surprisingly confronted by her otherworldly clone, which may feel odd to some.
The choices that are made in this part of the story often feel like the film wants to make a powerful learning experience for Brynn to understand as someone who’s unable to overcome her inner feelings, yet diverts itself to comprehending what the aliens’ motives are as well.
As a whole, No One Will Save You successfully grasps the tension and terror behind creating its extraterrestrial threats, but it still can accomplish a lot more within its overarching story of self-discovery. Fortunately, Duffield still manages to present an interesting concept even if it is another experimentation within the genre.
However, this film doesn’t dilute this year’s slate of horror films but rather helps to expand what horror and horror-thrillers can achieve given such a foundation to build on. As a pair, Brian Duffield and Kaitlyn Dever surprisingly work great together so hopefully we can get to see them working again in the future.
Rating – 3.5 out of 5
No One Will Save You is now streaming on Hulu.
This review was written during the 2023 WGA (now resolved) and SAG-AFTRA (ongoing) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series/movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.