Director Brian Duffield says actress Kaitlyn Dever "lost her voice" while filming even though she had no dialogue
No One Will Save You has a quietly unique approach to the alien invasion movie.
In director Brian Duffield's new film, Kaitlyn Dever plays a woman isolated from her community who experiences terrifying encounters with a group of extraterrestrials.
There are flying saucers and gray-colored aliens typical for sci-fi and horror fare, but over a 93-minute runtime, neither 26-year-old Dever's character nor any other actor in the film speaks more than a few words of discernible dialogue.
"A lot of the movie is about loneliness and self-isolation and lack of community, so I knew it would be pretty stripped down, but I didn’t think it would be no dialogue," Duffield, 37, tells PEOPLE.
No One Will Save You has enjoyed viral popularity since debuting on Hulu Friday, including a page from the screenplay that's been circulating on social media.
"Part of the terror of the movie is that Kaitlyn has to figure out what's going on by herself," Duffield says of why he did not want the character to be tipped off about aliens early in the film. "No one will help her."
"I was about halfway [into writing the script] and I realized she hadn't spoken. And at that point you're just kind of like, well, she's about to go back to her house and then there's no people in the rest of the movie," he adds.
Dever's character Brynn lives alone in her childhood home. Her fellow citizens shun her, holding grudges from her childhood. When she does attempt to travel into town to seek help from the aliens at her home, no one steps up.
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“Once you got through the town segment of the movie, there's no reason for her to speak. It felt like a very natural kind of extension of the isolation of her character to take out that one element," Duffield says, noting that he found featuring no dialogue "makes people really fixate on what's happening on screen or in the background."
“She's such a little magician,” Duffield says of Dever, also an executive producer on the film. "I think it was very exciting to her to have a role that is so expressive and internal on one hand, but then is also the most physically demanding thing she's ever done."
He adds, "She lost her voice while we were shooting. She's not talking, but she's screaming and crying and laughing. She gets to do everything.”
"It's been cool," the director says of the movie's word-of-mouth success. "It's a weird movie, so I feel like I'm proud of it, and I know Kaitlyn is proud of it and the crew is proud of it. But I had no idea what that was going to translate into in terms of reviews or what people thought. It's been really fun and surprising that the vibes have been so good."
No One Will Save You is streaming on Hulu now.
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