Movie goers who are quick to nitpick cellphone tropes in horror movies should have a ball with Save Yourselves!, a sharp sci-fi comedy about aging millennials for aging millennials.
City couple Su (Sunita Mani) and Jack (John Reynolds) agree to go to a friend’s cottage and do-away with their devices to better themselves and their relationship. The issue being, however, technology is the only way for them to engage with the breaking news that’s happening around them: a violent alien invasion that’s obliterating everything.
Staying connected to society in this specific, sometimes satirical, genre has become a common theme, but trodden territory can still be fresh if talented filmmakers are at the helm. In this case, writers/directors Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson prove this point. With their fantastic feature-length debut, these intelligent filmmakers show their cunning abilities to create a bridge between identifiable comedy and absurd science fiction. This blend is what really makes sparks fly when Save Yourselves! has a laugh at the expense of its likeable yet oblivious lead characters.
The film is practically a two-person show between Mani (Netflix’s GLOW) and Reynolds (Netflix’s Stranger Things). The actors walk a fine line between hipster parody and endearing slackers, and their hilarious chemistry is what wins the audience’s initial interest; allowing movie goers to embrace the unique individual performances. Their roles keep on developing as they learn about the invasion, including their discoveries of what these threatening creatures are. By also having the film distance itself from any conclusive results regarding the threats, this makes the slow burn building up to these discoveries even more surprising and funny.
The only time Save Yourselves! falls short is when the third act stalls. With a premise this off-the-wall, the filmmakers are required to consistently up the ante and challenge themselves towards an unforgettable finale. When more characters enter the story, even though the appearances are fleeting, Fischer and Wilson paint themselves into a corner and become confused by how to wrap up. They settle for standard survival scenes that are supposed to symbolize the leads turning a new personal corner together, but it all feels too formulaic.
Even the final shots, although visually stunning, leave the film at a standstill. Unless a sequel is following it, which I won’t stop manifesting until it becomes a reality.
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:
Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie