After hulu released the terrific Predator prequel "Prey" last year, I had high hopes for their new Sci-Fi/horror thriller NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU.
It certainly starts out well.
Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart, Dear Evan Hansen) stars as Brynn, a young woman in a very small town, living in her picturesque little country home in the middle of a forest.
Brynn seems to never say a word, sewing dresses, handwriting notes to people and working on a tiny miniature town displayed in her living room.
Only when she goes to mail those packages do we see her hiding from everyone, going out of her way to not make eye contact with anyone.
She returns to her home, seeming to practice for a life outside her house that she has no desire to see.
At night, everything changes.
Brynn wakes to the sound of her door bursting open.
She hears people on the roof and downstairs.
But these aren't people. They are very nasty little versions of Spielberg's big-eyed, long limbed aliens.
And they seem to really want to take Brynn.
Not since Kevin defended his McMansion has anyone home alone proven more resourceful at expelling invaders.
It's pretty fun watching Brynn battle these creatures, even though you've got to kind of roll with it when they seem to be able to explode walls one moment and be fended off by a broom the next. The rules of engagement are more built for fun than anything approaching logic.
When Brynn heads into town the mayhem gets even crazier, mixing in elements of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Signs" alongside plenty more visual references to "Close Encounters".
Writer/Director Brian Duffield (the surprisingly good 2020 thriller "Underwater") clearly is out to offer a great time with enough emotional heft to keep you engaged. He's got the right lead in Dever, who carries the film with ease.
Unfortunately, Duffield lets the story spin out of control in the final twenty minutes, unraveling into a final scene that's either brilliant or goofy, I can't decide which.
At the end of the review, I'll note spoiler alerts and discuss for those of you who have seen the film. I'm interested to hear your take.
NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU is a suspenseful mix of old fashioned stop motion effects, practical effects and CGI, all set to an excellent score by composer Joseph Trapanese (Oblivion). His main title music reminded me a lot of James Newton Howard's unnerving main title for "Signs".
The giant, spider like alien is a pretty cool new take on little green men.
It caught me firmly in it's tractor beam long enough to earn a B-.
SPOILER ALERT: (DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM)
Is the final sequence with Brynn at her neighborhood dance party a dream? is she suffering the effects of her abduction and all those bangs in the head?
Or is it reality? Duffield has said that, while it's open to interpretation, for him it's real and Brynn represents the human ability to bounce back from any tragedy. The world is taken over by aliens, but her infected community members are nicer to her than they ever were before the invasion.
That explanation makes me lean toward it being smart and visionary, but at first glance, I have to admit my reaction was much more in the "What in the hell???" vein.