No One Gets Out Alive

No One Gets Out Alive ★★★★

Similar to His House, and Under The Shadow before that, No One Gets Out Alive turns its socially-conscious backdrop - here, the illegal immigrant struggle - into an inescapable isolating cage. A bleak icy aura hangs over the film as Cristina Rodlo’s desperate and tenacious Ambar grasps at any foothold of opportunity, only to find walls closing in at every turn. Exploited and dismissed whenever help appears on the horizon, both spectrums represented by Marc Menchaca‘s sketchy landlord (another strong performance from the man). 

Ambar’s rundown apartment is menacing enough with its Gothic-esque echoes, shadows, and fluorescents flickering like a decrepit castle’s candles. Oh, and the lurking whispering ghosts, eyes gleaming from the darkness. The spectral eeriness and hopeless situation intertwine in a stylish unsettling simmer, while tormented memories and visions of a stone artifact hint at something more eldritch. No One Gets Out Alive escalates in a crescendo of wild grisly intensity, going in directions I never expected but was sure delighted to watch unfold. Maybe I should’ve anticipated where this goes, considering this is an Adam Nevill adaptation, author of The Ritual. By the finale, there’s no mistaking that.

Santiago Menghini’s feature debut doesn’t lack for creepy mood or well-executed suspense, filtering familiar horror trappings through a timely lens. Despite a slightly saggy pace, this was another 2021 favorite.

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