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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

[Review] Netflix’s ‘No One Gets Out Alive’ Delights With Surprising Twist to Haunted House Horror

The marketing behind Netflix’s latest Halloween offering suggests a modern but standard haunted house tale. The sole tease that there’s more to No One Gets Out Alive, other than its intriguing title, is that it’s executive produced by David Bruckner and adapted from an Adam Nevill novel. The last time Bruckner teamed up with Nevill it resulted in The Ritual taking Netflix by storm. Santiago Menghini’s feature debut toys with the tropes of the haunter to deliver a thrilling subversion that builds into an unforgettable finale and leaves you begging for more from Nevill’s box of horror.

Ambar (Cristina Rodlo) relocates to Ohio to pursue the American dream in the wake of her mother’s death. She arrives in Cleveland undocumented with little to her name. Ambar finds work in a local factory that pays under the table and rents a room at a dilapidated boarding house from intimating landlord Red (Marc Menchaca). The longer Ambar stays, the more she becomes unsettled by strange happenings. Nightly sobbing from other tenants echoes throughout the walls, nightmares grow more vivid, and other eerie occurrences leave Ambar feeling like something is very, very wrong with the place. Ambar may have wound up in a trap from which she can’t escape alive.

Menghini, working from a script by Jon Croker and Fernanda Coppel, keeps Ambar at the forefront of the horror. All of the tell-tale signs of a haunted house are present; the sounds, the flicking lights, the glowing eyes of a ghost announcing its presence in the dark contribute to an effective atmosphere. But Ambar’s struggles to survive financially serve as an empathetic distraction. Trying to appease ruthless bosses and perhaps even more unforgiving landlords addresses the age-old haunted house question of why a tenant simply can’t flee their haunted abode. The personal conflicts that Ambar encounters systematically cut her off at every turn, cornering her without escape. Rodlo engenders rooting interest; Ambar is kind and intelligent, but her mounting desperation douses the burning tension in gasoline.

Ambar’s plight makes for a more modern approach that doesn’t exactly reinvent the haunted house genre, though it does make it compelling. However, just when you think you’ve figured it all out, No One Gets Out Alive explodes into a brutal third act, and the surprises don’t stop coming until the credits start rolling. It’s not just the jaw-dropping violence that pulls the rug out from under you but the unique mythology that lends to one deeply satisfying payoff.

For his feature debut, Menghini surprises with a unique structure and the way he lulls the viewer with familiar haunted house conventions, only to shatter them all with a sharp detour into something else entirely in the third act. There’s also a refreshing lack of hand-holding on the mythos behind this strange yet spooky building. The filmmaker gives enough clues throughout to get a feel for the bigger picture but lets the horror and his lead heroine do the heavy lifting. The precise type of format that could reward further upon revisits. No One Gets Out Alive bears all the hallmarks of a massive sleeper hit for Netflix, and you’ll want to get ahead of the curve this Halloween season.

Netflix releases No One Gets Out Alive on September 29, 2021.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3684679/review-no-one-gets-out-alive-delights-surprising-twist-haunted-house/

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