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The horror film “No One Will Save You,” now available on Hulu, takes a minimalist approach to storytelling and creature design to create a unique and scary cinematic experience. Writer and director Brian Duffield discusses how he achieved this in a recent interview with Variety:
How to make a film with limited dialogue:
DON’T make it a gimmick
Duffield didn’t intentionally set out to limit dialogue in the film. It stemmed from the character of Brynn, a recluse who needs to be isolated without access to information for the story’s tension to work effectively.
DO trust the audience The audience is trusted to keep up with the storytelling despite limited dialogue. Brynn’s complex backstory and emotions explain why she doesn’t immediately run into town to warn others about the alien threat. The film relies on the audience to grasp her motivations and predicament.
DON’T overdo it While open to the possibility of making another dialogue-light film, Duffield acknowledges that it’s a challenging approach. He believes in streamlining storytelling but emphasizes that acting remains central to the film’s success.
How to make a film with scary aliens
DON’T be afraid to show them off
Instead of keeping the aliens in the shadows, Duffield intentionally reveals them early in the film. This approach contrasts with classic suspense-building techniques like those used by Hitchcock and “Jaws” but aims to engage the audience by offering a unique perspective on the alien invasion.
DO give them a classic look
Duffield chose to model the aliens in “No One Will Save You” after the iconic “grey alien” archetype. He wanted to reintroduce this classic movie monster, which had been missing from recent films, to the screen.
DON’T be afraid of collaboration
Duffield encourages collaboration with the filmmaking team. While he had the initial vision, he trusted the team to contribute ideas and enhancements, such as the aliens’ distinct toes and the rhythmic hand motion of a key character named “Daddy Long Legs.”
In summary, “No One Will Save You” successfully combines limited dialogue with early and prominent alien appearances to create a unique horror film experience. Duffield’s approach trusts the audience to understand the story and emphasizes collaboration with the creative team to bring the aliens to life effectively.