Dir. Brian Duffield (2023)
An introvert must fend off an alien who has invaded her home.
Science fiction is a real hit-or-miss genre for me, and I would hardly consider myself a fan. Even when perfectly done, it's something that I generally fail to find scary or particularly interesting, and unless it leans more heavily into horror, it's a genre that I would usually avoid. It's also a little hard to define: I would normally be thinking Star Trek when discussing sci-fi, but I suppose any film with aliens will do. Which brings us, of course, to No One Will Save You, "written" and directed by Brian Duffield, who also gave us the phenomenal The Babysitter and it's sequel (which I will get around to discussing one of these days). Unfortunately, much like its genre kin, this one was largely a miss for me.
Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever) is a young woman who is clearly troubled, her problems causing her to withdraw into her own home while doing her best to avoid the outside world. She finds herself the victim of an extraterrestrial home invasion, however, and fights the creature to the death in an effort to turn away its attack. Unfortunately, Brynn quickly realizes that the entire world is under attack, as wave after wave of aliens comes after her in an attempt to... well, we don't really know. Can she survive her assault? Even if she does, will there be a world left to survive within?
No One Will Save You is an interesting effort from a clearly talented filmmaker. It's Duffield's second feature film, and it is visually incredibly well done. He clearly has the eye of a director, and that's a fantastic thing for someone who wants to make a career of it. What he's best known for, however, is his writing, and he just literally doesn't do that in this movie. The first dialogue in the movie does not take place until over an hour in, and there are only five total words spoken in the entire film. That's all well and good, of course. It's certainly possible to make a movie that tells a story without words. Unfortunately, No One Will Save You feels more like an effects real than a proper movie. There's very little explanation for the events that unfold, and what little exists appears entirely up to interpretation.
Which, again, is fine in certain circumstances. This film just doesn't meet those circumstances. It feels much more like an effects reel than a film proper, choosing to have its character fend off continual attacks in increasingly unbelievable ways. It's a bit like War of the Worlds if Tom Cruise was mute and Dakota Fanning didn't exist. Dever does a pretty good job: there's one particular scene where she is suspended by a tractor beam, having to carry the entire emotion of the scene with just her eyes. She accomplishes the task quite well, and while the rest of her performances stacks up, it's just difficult to really feel that her performance has too much range when all she does is run and fight throughout the entirety of the film while saying nary a word.
The visual effects are phenomenal, however, and the film is probably worth watching for that alone. If you're a science fiction fan, there is certainly a lot of science fiction on display. If you're looking for anything that is particularly inventive, you won't find it here. It feels, unfortunately, more like a failed effort than an accomplishment, teasing a "home invasion with aliens" flick and instead just becoming a hack-and-slash-and-run-and-hide woman-vs.-ET adventure flick. There's a lot more to this film than meets the eye, but it never makes its intentions worth searching for.
Who this movie is for: Sci-fi fans, Alien lovers, Recluses
Bottom line: A swing and a miss, but boy, what a swing. No One Will Save You is a gorgeous film with some incredibly effects, and it's a film that will likely find a relatively large subset of fans. Unfortunately, it just doesn't have enough to make it a worthwhile film beyond its surface level. Dever does a great job in the lead (and almost only) role, and Duffield clearly shows his capabilities as a director. He left his writing chops in the dust, however, and that ultimately dooms the film to becoming a whisper of what it should have been. It's streaming on Hulu if you want to check it out.