No One Will Save You Review | Fire in the Sky

by Andrew Parker

An intoxicating and energizing mash-up of a home invasion thriller with an alien invasion movie, No One Will Save You is a film constantly able to take familiar ideas and raise them to new levels. Many of the elements in writer-director Brian Duffield’s smartly written and mounted sophomore feature behind the camera can be traced back to other popular and wide ranging pieces of genre cinema, but there are so many surprises along the way that the viewer doesn’t have much time to process all of it; like they’re being forced to go through a harrowing ordeal alongside the main character on instinct alone. No One Will Save You is masterful and accomplished, and while it might not end up being everyone’s cup of tea by the end, it’s the definition of a movie that works best if the viewer goes into it as cold and clueless as possible.

I’ll try not to give much of anything away outside of the obvious, as No One Will Save You was able to blow me away because mostly everything that happens is so unexpectedly handled. All you really need to know is that Kaitlyn Dever (who also serves as a producer) stars as Brynn, a small town shut-in who runs a seamstress business out of their country home. She hates venturing out into the nearby town and suffers from crippling anxiety. The townsfolk seem wary of Brynn, too. But before the viewer can figure out the source of Brynn’s anxiety and the frosty reception, her home is seized upon by terrifying alien invaders and surviving the night becomes more of a top priority.

Duffield’s approach to No One Will Save You is out-and-out relentless; a perfect example of a film that never stays still and something is always happening. Even the step-by-step set up that takes the viewer through an average day for Brynn is brimming with tension and unease, nicely creating two parallel tracks that No One Will Save You can exist on simultaneously. It’s equally engaging to wonder about the nature of the aliens once they start arriving and to piece together the dark secrets in Brynn’s past that have broken her. Duffield (Spontaneous) plays nicely with what essentially amounts to raw emotions to make the film’s more thrilling horror and action beats resonate with tremendous aplomb.

No One Will Save You is simultaneously stripped down to its most basic essence – which, to be fair, is mostly plot points from other similarly minded films stitched together into a new package – and rich in fine detail. Few films in recent memory have been this reliant on visual storytelling, performance, and sound design working together in tandem as Duffield’s latest. What it doesn’t rely on as heavily is a traditional script, which will become obvious the deeper viewers get into this. Even amid a story that throws sudden twists and pivots out every few minutes without warning and pervasive sense of danger, No One Will Save You has plenty to unpack and reconsider as it unfolds. It’s an outright thrill ride worthy of any number of excited superlatives, but it also never insults the intelligence of the viewer.

Duffield has found a perfect and willing collaborator in Dever who turns in another tour-de-force performance in a still growing career already full of memorable work. When it comes to the action and horror sequences, Dever is up to the challenge, but it’s her dramatic work and fleshing out of Brynn’s traumatized mind that provides more than enough glue to hold this thing together. It’s not an easy role to play, requiring a wealth of physical and emotional stamina, but Dever turns Brynn into what could go down as one of the most fascinatingly rich protagonists in scary movie history.

It’s kind of unfathomable to me that something as great as No One Will Save You isn’t getting a theatrical release, when it seems tailor made on every technical level to watch with a crowd that will be constantly gasping and cheering at many of Duffield’s creative high spots. That decision might come down to the ending, which saves one of Duffield’s biggest swings for last. It’s sure to prove at least somewhat divisive, but by the time it arrives, it both makes sense and the film has earned more than enough good will up to that point for the landing to stick. If nothing else, that conclusion is employed without any half measures, just like the rest of the film. A night at home this fall doesn’t get much scarier or more entertaining than this.

No One Will Save you is available to stream on Disney+ in Canada and Hulu in the U.S. starting on Friday, September 22, 2023.

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