SPOILER ALERT: This article contains massive spoilers for No one will save you. If you haven’t seen the film yet, proceed at your own risk!
There’s really no need to dive beyond the surface No one will save you to appreciate it. The conceit of a lonely young woman fighting for her life during an alien home invasion is 93 minutes of cinematic perfection. Writer-director Brian Duffield makes you care about protagonist Brynn Adams (Kaitlyn Dever) and then puts her through a ringing bell of ever-increasing horror—and it’s gripping every step of the way. These qualities alone make it one of the best horror films of the year, but what makes it especially special is the way it deals with its core theme: grief.
There are plenty of great horror films that deal with themes of mourning and loss, but what makes No one will save you What stands out is that Brynn’s story structure and emotional experience can be mapped into the classic five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I can’t tell you how deliberate this was in Brian Duffield’s construction of the script, but the metaphor struck me as I reflected on the film in the early days of seeing it, and it only heightened my appreciation for the work.
At first No one will save youviewers understand that not all is well in Brynn Adams’ life. She lives in complete solitude, devoting her time to writing letters to a dead friend and cowering in horror at the sight of the policeman and his wife, whom she clearly knows. But you wouldn’t know that if you simply judged her by her character. She manages her sheltered existence with smiles and sunshine without properly addressing the issues of her past.
Her home life is dedicated to sewing beautiful dresses that she sells online and building a cute and adorable modeling village in her living room. When she gets into the car and drives into town, she tries to avoid people, but also smiles and waves at the young man… even though she clearly knows what reaction she will get. It’s a case of denial – and starting with the metaphor, what is her first reaction when she first sees evidence of an alien invasion, that is, a brown circle on her lawn? She grabs the hose and hoses him down without wasting a moment to question herself.
Then the aliens arrive! Like all of us, Brynn experiences supernatural terror when she wakes up in the middle of the night to find someone in her house. And, naturally, her fear does not dissipate when she realizes that the invaders are aliens. In terms of fight or flight reflexes, the main character initially leans towards the latter – sneaking around the house and trying to avoid detection – but when the time comes for confrontation, she reacts to the moment, and what unfolds is violence and death. .
In reading No one will save you where the aliens represent Brynn’s trauma, the metaphor here is pretty clear. She fights a home invader, and her panic and fear at this point leads her to impale a model of a church spire with the head of a sentient being (which, it should be noted, reflects a rage-induced incident from her past that is her trauma.)
This is the scene in the movie where the title No one will save you is the most noticeable. It is during this stage of the grieving process that a person tries to make a deal with a higher power to stop or end their suffering, and for Brynn this comes in two forms.
Her first attempt at bargaining is to go into town and ask for help from the people who have been figuratively spitting on her for the last 10 years – and as a result, they are literally spitting on her. The second deal occurs when she is paralyzed by alien light and a parasite is inserted down her throat. She is offered to live in a fantasy reality on the condition that she becomes the host of an organism from outer space… although in this particular case, Brynn makes the right decision and chooses life.
After rejecting the alien parasite and pulling it out of its throat, the Kewano melon-like creature transforms into a clone of Brynn – and this is where the metaphor gets very strong. Sigmund Freud once said that depression is anger turned inward. No one will save you presents this idea as a confrontation between the main character and her counterpart. The clone strikes first, stabbing Brynn in the stomach with a piece of wood, but then our heroine strikes back, slicing her enemy’s neck with a box cutter. It’s suicide… but no.
Brynn’s reaction to this death is to cry openly – her grief is overwhelming… but it’s not over yet. That being said, it’s no surprise that the next scene where she’s at her lowest is when she’s captured and kidnapped.
Read more about “Nobody Can Save You”
Nobody’s Gonna Save You Kaitlyn Dever Isn’t an Action Veteran Like Tom Cruise, and the Director Explains Why That Made Her Perfect for the New Thriller
Stephen King has seen No One Can Save You on Hulu and he seems completely blown away by Kaitlyn Dever’s sci-fi horror film
Trapped aboard an alien spaceship, Brynn experiences one of the most radical psychotherapy sessions in cinema. She is a curiosity to the otherworldly beings, and they seem to use their special abilities to try to understand her. Touching her forehead, Brynn suddenly finds herself inhabiting her own memories, and although her first experience is a moment with her mother, she then finally faces the moment that has defined her entire life: during a fight, she accidentally killed her best friend Maude with a stone.
It’s heartbreaking and Brynn is powerless to stop the past… but what’s the key to this analysis No one will save you this is what comes next. After a terrible accident, young Brynn is shown all alone, seemingly writing her first letter to Maude, and adult Brynn approaches her and takes her hand. This is a 180 degree turn from the confrontation with the clone, as she consoles and accepts herself after reliving her most painful moment.
Returning to Earth after her hard fall, Brynn is able to truly smile and laugh, and at the end of the film, when her entire city is infested with alien parasites, she is free of anyone’s judgments from the past and is able to live a happier and more prosperous life. – a well-established life. This is the happiness she deserves after the hell she had to go through throughout the film.
Whether the five stages of grief structure are intentional or unintentional. No one will save youThis film is a brilliant piece of work that only gets better the more you think about it. If you want to watch it again, you can always re-watch it with a Hulu subscription.