No One Gets Out Alive is a passable horror movie with clear Mike Flanagan influences. There are a few creepy moments, but they become less effective as the same tactics are reused. Director Santiago Menghini successfully brings Fernanda Coppel’s horror screenplay to life through a scary-looking house that no one would ever want to step foot inside of if they had the choice.
‘No One Gets Out Alive’ is a supernatural immigrant story
Ambar (Cristina Rodlo) is an immigrant who put her life on hold to take care of her sick mother. Since her death, Ambar seeks to pursue the American dream. She wants to have a career and develop her life, but she’s struggling to make enough money to get all of the pieces in place to achieve her dreams.
Ambar struggles to find a place to live. However, she happens upon a women-only boarding house. The building is well-sized for her needs, but it’s rundown. She soon discovers that its past has dangerous secrets that threaten her life. Ambar must find a way to escape the nightmare before it’s too late.
‘No One Gets Out Alive’ overuses its scares
No One Gets Out Alive has an immigration story at its core. Ambar juggles work, trying to get stable living conditions, and reuniting with family that she barely knows. She doesn’t really have anyone that she can trust. There are dangers everywhere, with the most sinister one being at the very place that she calls her new home. Similar to Netflix’s His House, No One Gets Out Alive pitches a good reason for why she can’t just leave the haunted house.
Ambar has horrible nightmares, which begin to twist her memories of her mother. The terrors found in her nightmares continue to get worse the longer that she stays in this women-only boarding house. She sees ghost-like figures with glowing eyes and an eerie box with something opening its lid from the inside.
No One Gets Out Alive has its fair share of jump scares. A few of them are pretty effective as imposing entities haunt the corners of the frame. However, the same tricks get used time after time. The secrets of this boarding house go from creepy to a bit silly. It isn’t very predictable, but you have to be willing to go to some strange places to stick with it in the third act.
Mike Flanagan lite
Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House is a strong visual influence for No One Gets Out Alive. The same blue-ish green cinematography is utilized here in a big, rundown building. Remember the ghosts’ glowing eyes from Flanagan’s Oculus? Those are here, too. So are the ways in which the entities are positioned on the screen.
The haunted house sub-genre is one of the most essential horror genre sections. However, various filmmakers have their own approach to the famous sub-genre. For example, James Wan’s The Conjuring has a vastly different style from Flanagan’s. However, the influences come from much earlier features in the genre’s history. Some movies do a better job at combining their own aesthetic with classical influences.
No One Gets Out Alive is atmospheric and hints at something more under the surface. This is one of the clear reasons why Flanagan has been opting for mini-series for his haunting shows. He has a greater opportunity to expand upon his stories, the characters, and their narratives to establish meaningful drama around the scares. However, No One Gets Out Alive only addresses the tip of the iceberg within its short 87-minute runtine, but it’s entertaining enough as casual Netflix horror viewing.
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