No One Will Save You
There’s a lot of present talk regarding extraterrestrial life – of UFOs and the world beyond Earth – marking No One Will Save You an appropriate arrival into the horror scene. Living by herself, in a house where time seems to have stopped, aptly decorated with old-time crank phones and space-themed trinkets, Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever) is greeted by an alien barging into her room and causing unexpected things to happen, from electrical failures to levitating tables. Estranged from the rest of the town for reasons unknown, she has no one else to help fight off the creature.
No One Will Save You has a very grounded start, following Brynn in her daily life. But there’s something very eerie about her presence, mainly in the cottage-core aesthetic that surrounds her every move: earthy tones and bohemian clothing, the warm autumnal colour filter, the forest and lake setting and her writing of long letters. This starkly contrasts the sci-fi-centred premise of alien invasion, emphasising the disruption of peaceful living, while the invasion sequences are drenched in a dark palette, with cold cinematic filters of cyans, teals and blues.
The film feels like a long watch, revelling in silence and slow pacing. No One Will Save You has an uncanny way of stretching the minutes – with so much happening in one moment, and then a sudden stillness. The constant up and down in intensity exacerbates thrill and anxiety. Not one human character speaks: Brynn makes grunting and screaming noises, and most of her emotions are shown through facial expressions. Dever does her best with what the script provides, with lots of exaggerated physical acting.
This further adds to the enigmatic world of the movie, alongside the contrast between the open spaces of the natural surroundings against scenes shot in small and cramped areas – under the bed, in the closet and inside the car. Close-ups of Brynn’s facial features make the viewer feel uncomfortable with the intimacy, as if they are being probed by the aliens themselves. It’s an excellent combination of suffocation and the feeling of being trapped, alongside the notion of being alone in a vast world with no one around.
While the film nails creating the atmosphere needed to make the horror work, the awful CGI dampens a lot of the effort put forth. The picture takes advantage of the night, shadows and lack of light to try and bypass how plastic the alien characters look. It might almost seem by design, the cartoonish alien look. But on top of the overly serious and dramatic score, as well as the mystery and intrigue surrounding Brynn’s isolation, the graphics fail to do the written material justice.
There’s some promise in the complex writing of No One Will Save You. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and there’s a question of whether the silent format delivers actual storytelling rather than just jump scares. But given a little bit more freedom in the computer-generated visuals, the film could’ve been great.
No One Will Save You is released on Disney+ on 22nd September 2023.
Watch the trailer for No One Will Save You here: