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Review: Save Yourselves!

October 1, 2020

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Jack (John Reynolds) and Su (Sunita Mani) are a typical millennial hipster couple living in Brooklyn. Feeling too attached to their phones, and worried about getting disconnected from each other, they decide to spend a week at a friend’s cabin in upstate New York, vowing not to check their messages or the internet for the entire time.

But while they are stuck in the middle of the woods with their phones turned off, the planet falls under attack by fluffy aliens that look like oversized tribbles and feed on ethanol. And one of these creatures is right there in the cabin with them, which they at first mistake for a poufe. The two are left to fend for themselves, but years of living in the city and being reliant on technology have left them with no real survival skills.

This is the high concept premise behind the entirely amusing Save Yourselves!, an indie sci-fi comedy that is co-written and co-directed by the team of Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson. While the film is essentially built around the one-joke setup of watching a couple of bumbling Brooklyn hipsters struggling to survive an alien invasion in the woods, Fischer and Wilson do a decent job of sustaining it for the course of roughly ninety minutes.

Reynolds and Mani are the only two actors onscreen for a good portion of the running time, and they do a fine job of carrying almost the entirety of the film on their shoulders. Jack and Su are constantly being pushed out of their comfort zones, and there is plenty of inherent humour to be found in watching them squirm. For example, they both hate guns, so despite having an old rifle with them on the property, they refuse to actually use it. The film’s situational comedy is well handled, with the two actors playing the humour completely straight in a way that is quite amusing to watch.

Amidst the laughs that come from watching two ill-equipped “cidiots” struggling to get back in touch with nature, the screenplay also hints at some deeper ideas about insecure masculinity. At its core, the film finds Jack coming to terms with the fact that he never learned the same basic survival skills as the other men in his family. The film works as both an enjoyable couples comedy and as a low budget alien invasion movie that finds inventive ways to make due with its limited resources, including some decent special effects at the end. Either way, Save Yourselves! is a lot of fun.

Save Yourselves! is being released tomorrow, October 2nd, in selected theatres across Canada. It’s being distributed in Canada by levelFILM.

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