No One Will Save You is a twisted take on familiar sci-fi tropes that will have you checking every shadowy corner.
Second-time director Brian Duffield has had a long road to Hollywood success, having had many of his spec scripts relegated to The Black List, a catalog of well-regarded yet unproduced screenplays.
He made his directorial debut in 2020 with his genre-bending rom-com horror Spontaneous and is also known for penning the scripts for The Babysitter, Underwater and Love and Monsters.
While No One Will Save You is still firmly in the horror camp, it stands out from the pack by having almost no script at all when it comes to dialogue.
Booksmart breakout Kaitlyn Dever stars as isolated young woman Brynn Adams, whose nearly every thought and action is communicated without speech.
When she’s awoken one night by a strange noise downstairs, the appearance of an extraterrestrial home intruder kicks off a series of horrifying events that will force her to confront her traumatic past.
Therein lies the gimmick that some viewers might find eye-rolling at first glance but quickly becomes a gripping experiment in action and drama; Brynn’s story is as layered as it is intense, but there’s no dialogue, no inner monologue, and no helpful exposition.
Explaining his reasoning, Duffield tells Entertainment Weekly: “I knew there was a scene where Kaitlyn was going to try to get help at a police station.
“I wrote that scene and subsequent scenes of Brynn having a breakdown because no one would help her. Then I realised, I don’t think she’s talked in this movie yet. And sure enough she had not.”
It’s a choice that recalls the silent moments of the A Quiet Place series, though in much bolder fashion than John Krasinski’s run-of-the-mill creature features.
Instead, No One Will Save You feels more like Sigourney Weaver’s heart-thumping, claustrophobic escape from the Alien back in 1979 stretched to 90 non-stop minutes.
Unlike Ridley Scott’s original Xenomorph, Duffield’s ETs will probably fall slightly short of iconic territory; the one knock against the film is its reliance on overly familiar Roswell aliens and flying saucers that take a skilled hand to convince an audience to be scared of.
Thankfully, there are plenty of subversions to be found, and the invasion hints at a terrifying wider lore hidden amongst the stars whilst still keeping the focus on Brynn’s escape.
And what a feat for Dever to pull off without uttering a single word throughout almost the entire runtime.
Managing to evoke genuine terror through expression, gasps and tears alone, the rising star pulls off one of the best acting feats of the year by performing not only without speech but opposite computer-generated aliens.
Despite the VFX alien visitors, the action is kept practical for the most part, with plenty of nooks and crannies in Dever’s central surroundings to offer both obstacles and solutions to the terror.
The dialogue-free gimmick only briefly wobbles when Brynn makes a quick trip to town, after which she’s conveniently kept away from any other speaking characters.
But the conceit is held confidently to the end, and Brynn’s growth from helplessness to action heroine takes the tried and tested alien formula to whole new heights.
With spine-tingling horror and plenty of thrills, No One Will Save You is a disturbing sci-fi horror that demands lights off, phones away and eyes glued to the screen.
No One Will Save You is available to stream on Disney+ now.