Stay With Me

I’ve been having bad dreams.

– Simona

I chose today’s film on a whim, after seeing a few friends tweet about it – yay for the power of social media! – and by and large, it was a good one. Santiago Menghini’s 2021 film, No One Gets Out Alive, based on Adam Nevill’s book of the same name, is a grim slice of post-industrial nastiness with a monster of Aztec origin and a strong creep-factor.

I’ve seen The Ritual (2017), another film based on Nevill’s work, and enjoyed it, so I figured this one was a sure thing. As I said above, it was, by and large. Cristina Rodlo is fantastic as the harried Ambar, trying to make a better life for herself even as events conspire against her, and Marc Menchaca does a good line in reluctant villainy as Red.

Dread permeates the film, as Ambar slowly becomes aware of the supernatural forces stalking her. But when those forces finally make themselves known it’s a bit anticlimactic for my tastes. The monster has a uniquely weird design – much like the beastie from The Ritual – but, without getting into spoilers, it doesn’t do much to justify its presence or the menace ascribed to it. Marc Menchaca’s Red and his brother, played with hulking menace by David Figlioli, are more effective – and believable – threats to Ambar than the creature they’re ostensibly serving.

But that’s a minor disappointment, and really just a matter of personal taste. YMMV, as the kids say. Otherwise, it was a good film, with a tight plot, some brilliantly creepy sequences, and some nice emotional beats. If you’re looking for something new this Halloween, you could do worse.