“No One Will Save You,” Brian Duffield’s newest addition to the sci-fi thriller genre, follows ostracized homebody, Brynn Adams (Kaitlyn Dever), as she battles extraterrestrial home invaders that threaten her life and force her to revisit her past. The movie became one of Hulu’s most streamed films last month, offering viewers a fresh take on the home invasion subgenre.
Last month, Duffield’s newest film received rave reviews from horror icon Stephen King, who called it “brilliant, daring, involving, scary” on X, formerly known as Twitter. Despite a messy final act, “No One Will Save You” lives up to King’s review. The film adds more substance to the home invasion genre, which has become increasingly saturated in the last few years — with movies like “Don’t Breathe 2,” “Knock on the Cabin” and “The Rental” failing to deliver engaging stories. In this regard, perhaps the greatest strength of “No One Will Save You” is its dedication to subverting audience expectations to provide something original. In “No One Will Save You,” the concept of an alien home invasion is just the starting point for a much more vibrant plot.
What starts as a by-the-book atmospheric horror flick — chock-full of creaky noises and menacing creatures lurking in the shadows — slowly evolves into a story about alienation, grief and overcoming emotional trauma. Duffield’s masterful visual storytelling and Dever’s flawless acting guarantee that many of these important themes resonate by the time the credits roll. Nonetheless, others are needlessly obscured by a rushed final act that spends more time introducing new plot threadsthan closing old ones.
For sci-fi horror fans looking for an easily digestible monster movie, the film’s focus on thought provoking messages might not sit well. But other viewers might appreciate that the film offers a sense of originality and emotional weight that horror movies typically lack. Regardless of which group you fall into, Duffield’s film offers an enjoyable ride that knows how to effectively dial up the scares when it needs to — especially in the first two acts.
Because the film lacks any dialogue, Duffield relies on outstanding sound design, visuals and dynamic camera movement to provide audience members with a constant sense of danger. While the film doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel in this regard, it excels in executing every element with precision and skill.
Every floorboard creak, breath and alien chirp echoes throughout Brynn’s home. And as the camera moves around the space, these echoes change in their intensity, brilliantly suggesting the presence of danger, but often not fully showing it. The visuals of the film only add to this constant sense of dread, filling scenes with claustrophobic rooms, poorly lit spaces and windows that allow alien spotlights to just peek through the blinds.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the film is the performance of its lead actress. Following up on her excellent roles in “Booksmart” and “Unbelievable,” Dever gives a sensational performance that skillfully relies on facial expressions, eye movement and interaction with set pieces to convey her emotions and thoughts throughout the film’s runtime.
While the director’s dedication to having no dialogue easily runs the risk of seeming gimmicky or forced, Dever thrives with the opportunity, providing a masterclass in acting and visual storytelling. Without dialogue, Dever seals a sense of vulnerability, loneliness and fear into every frame, allowing the film’s sound design and themes to feel that much more palpable.
While “No One Will Save You” doesn’t completely stick the landing in its muddied final act, the film’s excellent lead performance, production design, themes and scares make it an intriguing watch this Halloween. Duffield’s newest film requires no saving after all.