REVIEW: ‘No One Gets Out Alive’ is a Deathly Slog

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No One Gets Out Alive

Santiago Menghini offers up a slow-burn immigration horror story that feels familiar and unfortunately wastes its uniqueness for his feature debut. Anchored by a strong performance by Cristina Rodlo, No One Gets Out Alive is a part haunted house, part twisty monster movie. Ozark star Marc Menchaca is probably the only recognizable actor in the film, and he is reliably good, as always. A surprising third and final act is not enough to save the film’s middling first halves, but there’s promise for the first-time director.

No One Gets Out Alive has all the trappings of cookie-cutter horror fare. Disembodied ghostly cries in the night, creepy apparitions that vanish just before you turn, jump scares galore, and a decrepit old boarding house that looked like it came straight out of a Resident Evil game. If you’re looking for a creepy bottle film such as this but with more depth, Fantasia Fest standout The Last Thing Mary Saw is worth a look. The main issue with No One Gets Out Alive is that it tries to do too much, and it loses itself in trying to scare you. Cristina Rodlo plays Ambar, a young woman who fled her country after her mother died and landed in Cleveland in search of a fresh start. By the way, I’ve never been to Cleveland, but boy does this movie paint Cleveland in an unflattering light. The horror should have come from the fact that she had to live in such a crappy part of Cleveland, which would have made for a more believable and compelling story. Or better yet, the fear of coming into this country with no papers, no money, and no support. Why didn’t the film lean deeper into this subject matter? Struggling in this country without any help as an immigrant is a lot scarier than spending a few nights at a dingy, haunted boarding house. 

Despite the film’s shortcomings, the atmosphere is there, and I’m all about the atmosphere. Dimly lit hallways, creaking sounds in the night, and a brooding score? I’m all in. In fact, this might be a great movie to leave on in the background while you’re putting up your Halloween decorations. It often feels like a movie that thinks it’s a lot scarier than it is. There were moments in this film where I couldn’t tell if what I was looking at was supposed to scare me or just trying to show me a plot point. The atmosphere can only get you so far, but thankfully, No One Gets Out Alive sports a fine cast who all perform well, and Mexican-born Cristina Rodlo is a star to look out for, and I’m excited to see where her acting career takes her next.

No One Gets Out Alive is a by-the-numbers meandering horror slogan for the first two acts, but things get interesting in the third act when the film finally decides to show and not tell. Without spoiling too much, I will say that the film introduces probably one of the more interesting monster designs I’ve seen in quite a while; it reminded me of that terrifying creature from The Ritual, coincidentally another Netflix horror film. It has a unique way of executing its victims or rather “sacrifices,” and it’s pretty visually striking. Unfortunately, by the time this creature arrived, the film had already lost most of its steam. Still, at just under 90 minutes, No One Gets Out Alive delivers enough creepy atmosphere and solid performances for a painless night of horror movie binging on Netflix.

No One Gets Out Alive is streaming right now on Netflix.

 


No One Gets Out Alive
  • 5.5/10
    Rating - 5.5/10
5.5/10

TL;DR

No One Gets Out Alive is a by-the-numbers meandering horror slogan for the first two acts, but things get interesting in the third act when the film finally decides to show and not tell. Without spoiling too much, I will say that the film introduces probably one of the more interesting monster designs I’ve seen in quite a while; it reminded me of that terrifying creature from The Ritual, coincidentally another Netflix horror film. It has a unique way of executing its victims or rather “sacrifices,” and it’s pretty visually striking. Unfortunately, by the time this creature arrived, the film had already lost most of its steam. Still, at just under 90 minutes, No One Gets Out Alive delivers enough creepy atmosphere and solid performances for a painless night of horror movie binging on Netflix.