The new trailer for No One Will Save You, from writer/filmmaker Brian Duffield (Spontaneous, Love and Monsters), has arrived this morning ahead of its Hulu premiere on September 22. And it looks absolutely intense.
Starring Kaitlyn Dever, the sci-fi psychological thriller plunges an anxiety-ridden homebody into a nonstop nightmare when aliens invade her home. The trailer teases a variety of alien invaders, including perhaps a few of the human variety, with the scares bolstered by a chillingly effective sound design.
Bloody Disgusting exclusively spoke with Duffield ahead of the trailer’s debut to learn what audiences can expect, from the movie’s tone to the aliens themselves.
“The trailer’s not far off from the movie. It is aggressive and tense, and there are moments of levity, but they’re few and far between. It’s a pretty lean and mean movie,” Duffield tells Bloody Disgusting of how accurately the trailer captures his film.
The filmmaker explains the concept, “The idea came from taking someone that would be living their own separate movie and having this alien invasion rudely interrupt that other personal journey that the character is on. The idea was that when the world ends, it’s going to interrupt a lot of stories. As we meet her in the movie, in the first couple of minutes she’s living her life, she has these quirks and these backstories that we are deciphering. A lot of the movie’s backstory builds up this very insular, safe bubble that protects her from the outside world, and eight minutes in, an alien walks in her front door and obliterates her bubble and the kind of safety net she’s put in place.
“So, it just felt to me a fun way to do that kind of alien invasion story, just putting it in a person with the least capability to survive and even surprises herself by her determination to survive. It’s a really fun juxtaposition. One of the things we joked about was it’s like taking a character from a Todd Haynes movie and putting them in an alien invasion movie. She’s completely unequipped and unprepared for what’s happening to her, and it makes her journey to the movie really unique and interesting.”
Duffield promises massive surprises in store that aren’t even hinted at in the trailer.
“I would say one of the things that I’m really excited about the trailer is that, with some clever editing, it hides two of the big hooks or twists of the movie that audiences will realize very quickly into watching the movie. The other fun thing that the trailer does is that it gives a lot of glimpses of aliens. Our movie, to be pretty blunt about it, when they walk in, eight minutes in, there’s very little hide and seek. It’s not 90 minutes of hide and seek. The movie, especially for a movie of this budget size, is floor-to-ceiling with aliens.
“It’s nonstop. They are full characters alongside Kaitlyn, which was very ambitious and hard to pull off on our budget. But it is definitely a swing. Again, part of the appeal was why don’t the aliens from Signs just walk in at the start of the movie instead of just hopping around on their roofs and waiting until the end of the movie to walk in. It’s like, ‘Oh, these guys are just going to walk in the front door, and Kaitlyn’s going to have to deal with it.’ Our movie is basically eight minutes of a Sundance movie, and then an alien kicks in the door, and it’s from eight to 88 minutes; it’s aliens. Really, it’s a good time.”
Creating a nonstop genre thriller that doesn’t relent for nearly its entire runtime means a lot rests on Dever’s shoulders. Duffield can’t wait for audiences to see just how capable his lead is at navigating the complexities of her character and the unrelenting home invasion horror ahead.
“One of the things that I’m most excited about in the movie is that Kaitlyn really hasn’t had a chance to do something like this. Obviously, I’ve told her this: I think her work in Unbelievable is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Then you have the complete coin flip of Booksmart on top of that. With this, Kaitlyn is the whole movie. She’s basically on-screen the whole time, and it’s a really complex and interesting character that she has to do a lot of heavy lifting in. We joked that she pretty much gets to do everything an actress has to do in this movie but sing. For a pretty short movie, she gets to do pretty much everything an actress can be asked to do. I’m really excited for people to see Kaitlyn in it.”
No One Will Save You features the quintessential depiction of aliens, the classic Grays. Duffield explains the return to the iconic style of extraterrestrial antagonists.
“I grew up loving obviously aliens, but also Grays in particular. In a weird way, I felt like they were underused in movies, especially in the last decade or two, where I think we’d gone the other way and were getting into more squiddy kind of fellas or just really abstract alien designs in that post-Independence Day world. I really wanted to make a movie with the classic emoji Gray because, again, I just hadn’t felt like I’d seen enough of them, especially for such a classic movie monster.
“It was the fun of getting to build out a weirdo culture with our Grays and it being something that no one is stopping the movie to explain to Kaitlyn what is going on or what the thought process is between our aliens. Very quickly, she starts understanding that there is a weird, almost like a religious fanaticism cult that these guys have and that there’s a very methodical and specific approach to what they are doing. Even if it’s not necessarily apparent to her that it is giving them a real depth that is unique. They have a very specific language amongst themselves. They have a very specific thought process. They’re not just running around screaming and terrorizing her. They’re very thoughtful and methodical, and when they want to be assholes, they’re definitely assholes.
“But there’s a lot of it, too, where they’re just very curious and definitely treat her like the ant in the ant farm that they consider people to be. And with that comes a lot of, instead of stomping on this ant, let me just check it out for a while and poke at it and see what it does, which is doubly scary, where you feel like the monster in your house is so far above you that it doesn’t really think to kill you or to harm you necessarily. But it’s also just making itself at home. It’s a unique problem that her character finds herself in and then finds herself kind of interrupting some of these more religious behaviors, and then that kind of brings a new level of shit to her as well.”
What does Duffield hope audiences will take away from watching the trailer?
“My hope is that when it drops on Hulu, they put their phone down, and they turn off the lights, and they crank the volume all the way up. Our sound design is ridiculous. It’s by Will Files and Chris Terhune, who did Prey, and they got nominated for The Batman. It’s a real show-stopper of work that they’ve done, and especially really built out this culture with our aliens. Our score is not in the trailer, but it is by Joseph Trapanese (Tron: Legacy, The Raid, The Raid 2), and it’s basically the co-lead of the movie with Kaitlyn. It’s a real knockout score. And it is Joe’s best work, too.”
Duffield leaves us with one final, exciting tease…
“It’s an alien invasion movie, and it’s definitely a movie involving the Grays. But it’s not necessarily just our friendly bipedal Grays; there’s a bunch of different elements going on in the movie, and there’s a specific hierarchy to these guys. While we meet our Grays again within the first 10 minutes of the movie, it’s by no means the end of the creature fun that Kaitlyn has to endure. Part of the fun of the movie is that the problems keep getting worse and bigger for her.
“The movie is much bigger and epic than I think some people are probably expecting based on the trailer.”