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Scares simmer in No One Will Save You

Scares simmer rather than boil in No One Will Save You, an ambitious but flawed effort from a producer of Cocaine Bear. Switching gears to writing and directing, Brian Duffield creates a script with no discernable dialogue, emphasizing that atmosphere rather than words create horror. His story focuses on a young woman named Brynn, living alone in (of course) a drafty old house by isolated woods. Duffield reveals a few essentials about her, including her status as an outcast in the nearby community. Yet Brynn seems likeable enough, played by Kaitlyn Dever, the amusing sidekick in Booksmart who made a name for herself in the television series Justified. Generally a supporting player, she moves into a compelling lead with skillful ease, justifying audience empathy with her immediate predicament—a home invasion. Just as soap operas run your tears by showing people crying, horror shares the scare through emotions revealed by its characters. Someone quivering in fear makes us do the same—and Brynn quivers nearly non-stop, hiding under the bed or fleeing through darkened hallways, or cringing at creepy noises and threatening shadows. Music and sound effects heighten the sensation, and eventually visuals add to the mix when the invaders reveal themselves as non-human. This ultimately puts No One Will Save You into Twilight Zone territory, showing potential to go into a clever ending a la The Sixth Sense or Jordan Peele’s Nope. Ultimately though, the payoff feels slightly more confusing or pointless than either of those, giving No One Will Save You points for bold effort and skillful moviemaking without a final, captivating twist.

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