The Big Picture
- Director Brian Duffield was inspired by the film Heavenly Creatures and the Slenderman stabbings to create the character of Brynn, a girl dealing with grief and murder at a young age.
- Duffield decided to incorporate an alien invasion into the story, drawing inspiration from the film Signs. He wanted to start the movie with the aliens rather than saving their reveal for the end.
- Brynn, the main character, is the least prepared person for an alien invasion, as Duffield explains.
Editor’s Note: This article contains major spoilers for No One Will Save You. No One Will Save You stars Kaitlyn Dever as the near-mute victim of a home invasion thriller. But the film comes with a twist — the invaders are from outer space. At a special Collider Q&A with the movie’s director Brian Duffield, he was asked by Collider’s Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub how he decided that an alien invasion would be the best way to tell the story of Brynn, a girl who has been left as a pariah in her community after the accidental killing of her childhood friend more than a decade earlier, and the grief that she carries with her.
Duffield revealed he was inspired by another film based on grief and murder at a young age, in the shape of Peter Jackson‘s Heavenly Creatures, and what became of the young women who committed the crime, as well as the “Slenderman” killings. He explained:
“I had the character of Brynn because I am really obsessed with the movie Heavenly Creatures, which if you haven’t seen it, it’s Peter Jackson before Lord of the Rings, and it’s about two girls in their young teens that form a very intense bond and then kill one of the girls’ mothers. And it’s a true story. Then a couple of years, like a decade or two ago, it was revealed that one of the girls grew up, changed her name, and became a very famous author, and I thought that was a very interesting character. Then the Slenderman stabbings happened right before I was about to have kids. I just thought it was very interesting about these, like, 10-year-olds that had done something so terrible but were also 10 and then had their whole life ahead of them to figure out all of that insanity. It felt like a very interesting character.”
Building on the Legacy of ‘Signs’
As he started writing the story, he realized that that wasn’t quite a compelling narrative on its own, and that’s when the concept of an alien invasion story started to enter his mind. Citing the M. Night Shyamalan film Signs, which has a similar theme for an alien invasion film taking place in a remote house, Duffield felt he could take the ending when the aliens were finally revealed but go a step further and bring them in from the start. “So I started writing it, and I kind of knew all of the details about Brynn, and I was like, ‘I feel like I’d be too bored watching the miserable Sundance version of this,'” he explained.
“Then, subsequently, I had a second final draft filed that was the alien walking in the front door five minutes into the movie, but I think people are used to, like, the end of Signs, which is a movie that I love where the alien finally walks into the living room at the very end, and I thought that was an interesting place to start a movie. Then I probably, like, spilled water on the keyboard or something, and I merged the two final drafts, and I thought, “Oh, this is really interesting where when the world ends, it’s gonna end for everybody, including people that are going through everything that the Brynn character is going through that gets rudely interrupted by the aliens.”
‘No One Will Save You’s Brynn Is The “Least Prepared Person” for an Alien Invasion
Duffield added that Brynn’s isolation and suffering serve as an issue of fascination and frustration. She is, as he puts it, the “least prepared person in the world” to handle an alien invasion. In contrast with the compliance from the townsfolk in becoming “hosts” for them, Brynn just won’t give up, and it’s part of this resilience that they admire. The alien invasion is just an inconvenience to her, and she’s keen to get back to her quiet life of suffering as quickly as possible. He continued, saying:
“The aliens also have insight and curiosity about this character that’s bizarrely resilient, even though there’s not really any purpose to her life in a lot of ways. She just kind of lives at home alone, doesn’t want a relationship, doesn’t have any of the normal human experience kind of things, and I thought that was an interesting way into an alien invasion movie, having the least equipped person possible, but that was also going through a lot of emotional bullshit outside of aliens in the middle of it. So I don’t know if it makes any sense, but in my brain it did.”
No One Will Save You is currently streaming on Hulu.