Everyone seemed to have something to say about Brian Duffield’s new alien invasion thriller, “No One Will Save You,” this weekend — including “The Shape of Water” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro.
Currently Hulu’s top-rated item, the 90-minute feature stars “Booksmart” breakout Kaitlyn Dever as a small-town recluse who singlehandedly fights off a series of extraterrestrial home invaders. The town-wide invasion happens in the aftermath of her mother’s death and 10 years after the mysterious death of her best friend — an event that appears to have made her an outcast.
In his analysis of the film, del Toro, posting to X (formerly Twitter), said that it is accurate to walk away from a viewing of “No One Will Save You” believing it to be “about soul reparation” in the woman’s battle for her life, but he posed that it “telescopes to other levels,” specifically other religious ones.
“There is an essential principle in Catholic dogma (thus you may choose to refute it or embrace it) that serves as a narrative backbone: Grace and salvation emerge from pain and suffering. It is in this passage that you find salvation,” del Toro wrote.
This principle is found in the film’s title itself: “No One Will Save You.”
“You will save yourself through this,” he said. “You can find it in the Book of Job — in Jonah in the whale and in fact in many other religions. The world — the essence of it — is a paradoxical composite of destruction and creation. Any human-scale attempt at suppressing one side results in strife, because the universe doesn’t play nice. Period.”
1) A little thread. There is an essential principle in Catholic dogma (thus you may choose to refute it or embrace it) that serves as a narrative backbone: Grace and salvation emerge from pain and suffering. It is in this passage that you find salvation. https://t.co/vLB2UdpWhe— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) September 24, 2023
Del Toro went on to say that the “profound,” “key” moment to the film’s religious messaging is “the moment of ‘communion’ through the eucharist of the alien identity pod” — a moment, you’ll know if you’ve seen the film, that’s bookended with Dever’s character rejecting the pod. That thematic throughline is also seen in her inability to find safety in the town’s church, the doors of which are locked as the aliens zero in to attack.
Del Toro expressed that he is “a lapsed institutional Catholic” and concluded that “Sunday school was never this fun” — a shared experience that wasn’t lost on filmmaker Duffield.
“I don’t think Guillermo even knows I’m a missionary kid that grew up in Ireland so this is a wild Sunday morning,” the film’s director wrote, retweeting del Toro.
In his own interview with TheWrap, Duffield entertained the idea that “No One Will Save You” could be viewed as a religious allegory, and that the church being unavailable to its hero was “very intentional, for sure.” But as it relates to deeper analysis through a religious lens, “I haven’t gone too deep in it,” he admitted.
“A couple people that know my backstory have brought up elements of it compared to the movie, and I’ve been like, ‘I haven’t thought about it like that,’” he said, comparing it to how Steven Spielberg may have felt when “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was interpreted through its religious subtext.
“Spielberg hadn’t thought of it, and you’re like, ‘It’s so obvious,’” he explained. “It’s probably like that.”
Legendary horror author Stephen King also joined in with his own praise for the film.
“No One Will Save You” is streaming now on Hulu.
Drew Taylor contributed to this article.