No One Will Save You (Rated PG-13)
By: Adam Freed
Beware of what lurks just beyond the midnight sky, for they are watching. Twentieth Century Studios and Hulu have struck sci-fi gold with No One Will Save You, a modern home invasion story of superior design. Writer and Director Brian Duffield should be hailed for both his creativity and restraint as his supremely paced sci-fi tale is the aspirational model of what direct to steaming feature films should be. The movie is blisteringly paced and not one moment too long at 90 minutes and is packed with a palpable tension that makes looking away impossible despite the curious danger lurking ahead. In only his second feature length film, Duffield has found balance upon a razor’s edge, creating a thoughtfully woven tapestry of knowns and unknowns.
Adding to the curious alchemy of No One Will Save You is the divine performance of Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) who elevates Duffield’s intriguing story with an anxiety laced performance layered with palpable notes of regret. Dever’s character Brynn lives in a manner of trauma-informed isolation, the details of which are parceled out like a trail of breadcrumbs in the midst of the film’s primary extraterrestrial plotline. Ratcheting up the level of difficulty in Dever’s performance is that there are fewer than ten words of dialogue uttered in the entirety of the film. This is a masterclass of emotional conveyance from a gifted young actress discovering the full weight of her potential.
Although details are yet to be published, it is clear that Brian Duffield created his bite sized science fiction joyride on a spartan budget. His ability to overcome budgetary constraints in order to present a story this compelling is laudable. The film features a uniquely manipulative sound design which provides just enough sonic detail to force audiences to lean in, but not enough to answer any questions. Excellent classic Hollywood camera and set piece manipulation such as numerous foreground action, background danger design concepts effectively promote the film's anxiety riddled tone. Practical lighting effects are dramatically more impactful than the somewhat predictable CG antagonist design. Adding to the tactile feel of No One Will Save You is the measured deployment of expertly utilized drone footage, which given the nature of the film, presents an unnatural and yet necessary alien perspective. Duffield’s triumph is his creation of a mysterious and frightening world crafted within a shoebox diorama captivating enough to the eye and mind that looking away ceases to be an option.
Target Score: 8/10 - 90 minutes of blistering science fiction fun. Equal parts mystery and thriller, No One Will Save You is sure to delight fans in search of an early Halloween season treat.