In lesser hands than writer/director Brian Duffield’s, it would’ve been so easy for “No One Will Save You” to come across as a collection of tropes papered over by a gimmick. Home invasions, aliens, and all with the main character (or anyone else, for that matter) barely ever uttering a single word? Movie lovers have been there and done that at one point or another, but rarely before with a script as tight and storytelling sensibilities as razor-sharp as they are here. Kaitlyn Dever commands the screen at all times as Brynn, a loner living in an anachronistically old-fashioned house who has been all but exiled by her own hometown. Duffield drags out this mystery for as long as humanly possible, another risk that could’ve potentially blown up in his face … had viewers not already been taken in by the film’s surprisingly clever thrills (in spite of — or should I say because of — the low budget), the seamlessly invisible filmmaking and camerawork, and, of course, the performance by star-in-the-making Dever.
The film embraces its sci-fi framing rather quickly, only taking the time to establish the geography of the (mostly) one-location thriller and Brynn’s lonely existence livened only by a few, clever grace notes before throwing E.T.’s more malevolent and far less talkative cousins into the mix. No less an authority than Guillermo del Toro has already weighed in on the film’s implicit religious themes, which go a long way towards explaining some of the more intriguing choices Duffield made — not least of all, the ending itself. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll want to treat yourself to one of the year’s most rewarding pleasant surprises ASAP.
“No One Will Save You” is currently streaming on Hulu.