No One Will Save You : Movie Review

Posted by Eddie Pasa on September 22, 2023 in / No Comments

 

Rated PG-13 by the MPA for violent content and terror. Running time: 93 minutes. Released by 20th Century Fox. Streaming on Hulu starting 9/22/23.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, No One Will Save You, Hulu, 20th Century FoxInteresting. My last review (Nightsiren) was about a woman returning to her remote village where the citizens treat her with disdain. Similarly, Brian Duffield’s No One Will Save You also features a woman living in a town where the inhabitants don’t seem to care for her presence. At all. And like Nightsiren, the reasons are slowly unfurled over the film’s running time alongside the main plot, which features one of the most harrowing home invasions ever seen.

No One Will Save You establishes that it’s something special almost instantly. An overhead shot of a secluded house in the middle of a forest seems a mite on the nose, but what seems like a simple establishing shot bears more weight after seeing similar views later on. It’s here we’re introduced to the house’s sole inhabitant Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever) and her lonely life. Her days seem to be filled with model making, driving into town to furtively mail packages with no return address while demonstrably avoiding everyone she sees.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, No One Will Save You, Hulu, 20th Century FoxThis avoidance also gives us another of Duffield’s storytelling devices: a purposeful and total lack of dialogue. Or much of any kind of speech, for that fact. Coupled with Brynn’s avoidance, she sinks herself into her miniature model projects and writes sorrowful letters to someone named Maude. There’s really not much for Brynn to say, much less anyone around to hear her say anything, as these communications with Maude seem to be related to the cold reception she gets from others. As this film takes place over two days, Duffield opts to show rather than tell, stacking the movie with immersive visuals and roaring action centered solely on Brynn, who wakes up in the middle of the night to see someone – or something – creeping around her house.

A Quiet Place may have done it similarly, but not like this. Don’t worry – you won’t be waiting long to find out the nature of this invader as Duffield slams us right into this 36-hour assault on the senses. Seriously, we’re only given under nine minutes to acquaint ourselves with Brynn and her solitude before No One Will Save You goes on an absolute, single-minded rampage, and I’ve never seen anything like it. From the ninth minute to its closing sequence, Duffield subjects us to full-on terror and horror for the next 84 minutes as Brynn fights for her life in her only place of refuge, pairing his visuals with blistering sound design that comes at us from every angle.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, No One Will Save You, Hulu, 20th Century FoxKaitlyn Dever powerfully carries this one-hander with guts and incredible skill. Both she and her character aren’t given the opportunity or made to rely on anyone (hence, the title, I guess), and Dever gives an entirely naturalistic, nuanced performance that imbues the external struggles with those found within. This reckoning of past and present provides the core of the film, which Dever emotes with perfection. A near-silent movie just doesn’t happen these days, and Dever possesses the multilayered presence and talent needed to pull off a daring, vivid effort such as this.

Duffield’s sharp direction and heart-palpitating script keep us on the edge of our seats, expertly knowing when to jolt us or give us a rest from Brynn’s plight. Cinematographer Aaron Morton’s knowing use of the widescreen frame allows our minds to get carried away in the moment, hoping Brynn’s assailants aren’t hiding in the shadows or just around the corner. In concert, James Miller’s sublime sound design takes us from preponderous silence to deafening bombast, with heavy reverberations cycling throughout our consciousness, subsuming us in their depth and largeness.

DC Movie Critics, DC Movie Reviews, DC Film Critics, Eddie Pasa, Movie Critics, Film Critics, Movie Review, Film Review, No One Will Save You, Hulu, 20th Century FoxBrian Duffield’s second feature film is no sophomore jinx; by focusing more on visuals and sound, he harks back to a time when actions spoke louder than words. Were this given to another director and star, we would’ve heard every thought go through their heads spoken aloud, dispelling any anxiety and letting us off the hook. No, Duffield wants us squirming on the hook, and he wields his story and its conceit with clear authority, assuredly ratcheting up this film’s tension to its peak and maximum. Anchored solidly by Kaitlyn Dever delivering one of the year’s best performances, No One Will Save You is a straight-up masterpiece – an explosive, tightly wound film, relentless and merciless in using every bit of its power to thrill. My stomach’s in knots merely thinking about watching this movie again, and I’d definitely enjoy riding this freakout a second time.

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Eddie Pasa

Eddie is a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) and the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS). Since starting in 2010 at The Rogers Revue, Eddie has written for Reel Film News (now defunct), co-founded DC Filmdom, and writes occasionally for Gunaxin. When not reviewing movies, he's spending time with his wife and children, repeat-viewing favorites on 4k or Blu-Ray, working for rebranding agency Mekanic, or playing acoustic shows and DJing across the DC/MD/VA area. Special thanks go to Jenn Carlson, Moira and Ari Pasa, Viki Nova at City Dock Digital in Annapolis, Mike Parsons, Philip Van Der Vossen, and Dean Rogers.

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