Brian Duffield’s No One Will Save You, now streaming on Hulu, unfolds as a haunting nightmare, highlighted by Kaitlyn Dever’s silent acting. Also written by Duffield, the meticulous direction of his own script shapes a heightened sense of paranoia, striking the connection between effective visual storytelling and a nuanced narrative for a film that isn’t always perfect, but engaging nonetheless.
Brynn Adams (Dever) is a young woman living alone in an isolated countryside. She wears her anxiety like a costume as she moves around the town scared to make eye contact with anyone. She frequently visits her mother’s grave, but when there, Brynn spots the police and hides behind her car to avoid them. At home she collects Christmas-themed doll houses, and writes letters to her deceased friend Maude (played by Evangeline Rose).
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One random night, Brynn wakes to the sound of strange noises coming from downstairs and goes to investigate, only to find her door wide open. Upon further inspection, there is a strange shadowy figure running around. She can’t fully see what it is, but knows it isn’t human. Soon as the electrical devices start going haywire, she sees an Alien figure that begins to terrorize her lonely existence. Now Brynn has to save herself from abduction, or risk becoming one of them.
This nearly dialogue-less feat is entirely carried by Dever’s performance. Her reactions paint the unspoken words and lingering mysteries of the unfolding drama. The film pulls the audience into the story, allowing them to experience the thrill and perplexity with Brynn in real time, creating an atmosphere of shared uncertainty and intrigue.
The struggle with budgetary constraints is evident in the Alien VFX, which are reminiscent of graphics from the PlayStation 3 era. It is a commendable creative effort saved by the array of creature designs, providing visual diversity and demonstrating the resourcefulness present within the production team.
The film’s tight 90-minute run offers a nicely paced journey, avoiding the temptation of over-explanation and allowing the narrative to breathe and evolve organically. However, the expedition through the unknown somewhat stumbles in the concluding 15 minutes, as a tonal diversion lands smack in the middle of the third act.
The culmination draws too many circles around a simple point, which made me feel it was more cinematic embellishment than effective storytelling. This took away from the atmospheric consistency maintained throughout. Though, this shift can work if the viewer changes their perception to look at the film allegorically, and less literally as it explores grief and redemption as the real catalyst for Brynn.
No One Will Save You supplies the unspoken mysteries and emotional depth of navigating the realms of human sorrow and reconciliation within the framework of an otherwise engaging thriller. It’s a testament to Duffield as a director and Dever as an actress as they work in sync by taking a big bold swing on this story and coming out the other side successfully.
Title: No One Will Save You
Directors-screenwriters: Brian Duffield
Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Evangeline Rose
Running time: 1 hr 30 mins
Studio: 20th Century Studios
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