No One Will Save You
by George Wolf
No One Will Save You gives Brynn Adams – and us – just 12 minutes before uninvited friends come calling.
And in those 12 minutes, writer/director Brian Duffield utilizes some fine visual storytelling to set the stage.
Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever) lives by herself in a lovely country home. Brynn’s a simple homebody who likes simple charms like rotary phones and making beautiful crafts to sell. But in her small town of Mill River, Brynn is a pariah. Something very painful occurred there years ago, and the townsfolk are not shy about reminding Brynn that she was – and still is – to blame.
Brynn soon finds out that what’s worse than no one stopping by is a sudden alien invasion. Hide and seek soon turns to fight or flight, with Brynn struggling to stay alive and find anyone to help her. But as the title implies, Brynn has only herself to rely on.
Duffield (screenwriter for Underwater and The Babysitter, among others) rolls out story beats that recall Signs, It Follows, and The Babadook, while upping the A Quiet Place ante for a film that is 99.9% dialog-free.
In place of conversation, we get some very effective SFX work from James Miller’s sound department, and the always-welcome Dever delivering a physically demanding, sympathetic performance that wordlessly evokes desperation, sorrow and courage.
But as Brynn’s nightmare plays out, a stale air begins to creep in. The creature design is fairly generic, and more effective before we start to see them up close. Duffield’s extended metaphor has been done before and with more subtlety, though it’s rescued somewhat by a final twist from that Twilight-y Zone place.
Most of all, Hulu’s No One Will Save You is another example of a film that seems structured exclusively for a streaming algorithm. The action comes early, it’s repeated often enough that you can go feed the dog and not feel like you’ve missed anything, and the themes are obvious and easily digested.
Once again, it’s a formula that is tasty in spots, but far from filling.