No One Will Save You
I love Sci-fi movies. I love horror as a genre (by now, you know). When you combine the two, you can rest assured, I will be watching it. Since I did not know about the existence of this film until 2 days ago, I went in with zero expectations (having not even seen the trailer). And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised, for more reasons than one.
For starters, it is a rare silent film (save for one line of dialogue towards the end). The ‘silent’ aspect is not used as a gimmick but has actually been written well into the script, seeing as the focus of the story is only on one character. And her battles – both internal and external (with aliens). The silence adds an additional layer of eerieness to the proceedings.
But overall, does the film work? Read on to find out.
Story & Screenplay
Brynn (a terrific Kaitlyn Dever) is a bit of a social outcast, living by herself in an old country manor, setting up toy towns, and writing letters to someone named Maude. She even avoids people on the street. Until one day, her house becomes the venue of an alien invasion.
A good chunk of the film goes into Brynn and the alien playing a game of hide and seek inside Brynn’s house. After managing to escape from there, Brynn tries to approach the police, but is unable to, because of her past (the ‘Maude’ comes into the picture here).
She is forced to defend herself against these telekinetic aliens, of varying shapes and sizes. Whether she is able to save herself or not, forms the crust of the story.
Writing & Direction
Writer-director Bryan Duffield tries to give us a rural America vs. aggressive aliens template once again (A Quiet Place was a much superior movie in the same genre) but reveals his cards (in this case, aliens) too early into the film. And as such, much of the tension that could’ve built up, is lost early on.
The best horror movies are the ones that make us fear the unknown. The less we know about the monster in the closet, the scarier it is in our heads. But here, we know exactly who the monster is, how it looks, and what his powers are, and that makes it less scary. The fact that the aliens are designed in the most basic form also doesn’t help. They look almost harmless (like Jaadu from Koi Mil Gaya; well, almost) and even funny.
Moreover, the reasons why Brynn does not approach anyone with the alien problem she was facing, also seem shallow and farcical. There are a few logical flaws in the film as well. Towards the end, the film tries to get too smart with us, and tries and confuse us with the ‘what’s real, what’s fake’ template (again, much better done in Arrival), but at this point, you’ve lost interest.
Frankly, the novelty of the film is not in the horror aspects of it (which aren’t scary) but in the silent treatment of the film, which is also the film’s USP. However, they could’ve written the story slightly better and designed the aliens in a creative way. There are glimpses of what this film could’ve been, and that’s the frustrating part.
Kaitlyn Dever is pretty much the only actress in the film (well, if you don’t count the CGI aliens), and has to carry the film on her shoulders. Thankfully, she manages to do just that. Dever (who was phenomenal in the Netflix series Unbelievable) is a talented actress with a range of emotions she can portray. Without any other co-actors to play off of, or any dialogue, Dever does make us want to care for the character (at least until the midway point in the film).
She is vulnerable yet brave, confused yet clear, emotional yet strong. Full marks to Dever to rise above the average script and give a standout performance in this film.
No One Will Save you is a middling alien horror drama which lacks scares. Watch it for Kaitlyn Dever, and for it being a rare silent film in today’s times. Now streaming on Disney + Hotstar.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.