Kaitlyn Dever in No one will save you (Photo: Hulu)
It takes about 10 minutes of wordless character and world building to realize that no one will actually speak. No one will save you. It’s a gimmick, sure, but in the hands of writer-director Brian Duffield it’s also a conceptual window into a story about guilt and isolation. Since its release on Hulu on September 22, the film has gone viral and received rave reviews from critics and horror stars such as Guillermo Del Toro and Stephen King.
NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU: Brilliant, daring, exciting, scary. You’d have to go back more than 60 years to the TWILIGHT ZONE episode “The Invaders” to find anything remotely like it.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 25, 2023
King’s praise references a 1961 episode of the series. Twilight Zone“The Invaders” stars Agnes Moorehead as a woman who must fight off an alien invasion while alone and alone in an episode almost devoid of dialogue.
The similarity of the plot between the two projects does not make No one will save you less impressive. If we were to throw out any horror fiction that bears similarities to Twilight Zone episode, we may not have any horror fiction left at all. Instead, it’s a reminder that Twilight Zone The aesthetic remains as influential today as it has ever been, and represents the most perfect template for horror on the small screen.
It premiered in 1959 and ran for over 150 episodes in its original incarnation. Twilight Zone it’s one of television’s greatest triumphs of tone. You know Twilight Zone episode the minute you land on it, with its atmosphere of straightforward surrealism, presenting a world only slightly different from our own, at least at first glance.
No one will save you has a similar slow-burning surreality. There is no plot-driven reason for the concept of no dialogue. The world did not fall silent, as in Buffy the Vampire Slayer“Hush” and there are no monsters that are attracted to sounds like in Quiet place. Wordlessness is a reflection of the film’s main character, Brynn (Kaitlyn Dever), who lives alone in a huge two-story house and is used to not communicating with anyone. This is a girl who has no family and no friends; in the city they sometimes sneak up on her, sometimes they spit on her. On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense that this perfectly nice young woman who collects dollhouses and tries to learn ballroom dancing from those step outlines you put on the floor would be a social outcast.
The intrigue of what led Brynn to such an isolated existence takes a backseat to the film’s sci-fi plot, an alien invasion that seems—largely due to our limitations—to be entirely localized to Brynn’s home. Duffield’s idea of alien invasion is not incredibly complex, and his liberal borrowings from films such as Signs, Nopeand even Scream may straddle the line between homage and plunder, but they match the retro-simplistic design of the aliens themselves. These are the long-limbed, bulbous green aliens we’ve been imagining since the ’50s, which takes the film even further. Twilight Zone Rabbit hole.
But in fact it is in the final No one will save you reminds me most of all Twilight Zone such. We eventually learn about a terrible event from Brynn’s past that led her to this isolated place in her life. The city’s scorn and her own crushing guilt keep her captive in her own home. Without spoiling how the film reaches its resolution, I will note that it borrows heavily from Alex Garland. Destruction – the changes he brings to Brynn’s world offer the same bright clouds/dark lines result as Twilight Zone specialized in.
All the best Twilight Zone the episodes actually made it to the end – think of the gremlin on the wing of William Shatner’s plane, or poor Burgess Meredith with his post-apocalyptic stack of books and no glasses to read them in “Time Enough at Last.” Here, Brynn finds the life she longed for: calmed from crushing guilt, in a shining, sparkling city full of people who smile at her and want to dance with her. It was all she could hope for, in the most twisted and surreal way. Kaitlyn Dever’s completely unsettling, forced smile at the end of the film conveys great anxiety about this idyllic outcome.
Horror works best as stories with a closed ending. Twilight Zone, with its episodic anthology format, has always been the perfect benchmark for television terror. The show told individual stories that were brought together into a series through an ironclad understanding of tone. This formula is successfully reproduced by shows such as Black mirror, as well as Jordan Peele in the short-lived CBS All Access (now Paramount+) remake. Peele’s version included one standout episode, “Traveler,” starring Steven Yeun, which took a less fast-paced but stylishly gritty approach to the alien invasion story.
No one will save you It is not part of a series, but it is not a theatrical performance either. When a theatrical horror film is shown on television, there is often a disconnect of sorts; the films seem out of their element. But the movie is like No one will save youwith its obvious resemblance to Twilight Zone feels right at home on television, where he feels part of a long tradition of impeccable world-building and suspenseful decisions.
No one will save you streaming on Hulu.
Joe Reid – Senior Writer V Prime timer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The AV Club and others.