An illegal immigrant is alone in her dilapidated apartment, attempting to contact her relatives. At least she believes that she is alone. She isn’t. In Santiago Menghini’s first best horror movie, “No One Gets Out Alive,” she is the first victim in a long series of victims.
Ambar (Cristina Rodlo) moves into a run-down Cleveland boardinghouse without understanding what has occurred there before. She soon begins to hear cries and disembodied voices as well. The ancient home is haunted by spectral strangers. Ambar, though, is undocumented, much like the film’s first victim and the other boarders in the house. She cannot contact the police out of fear of deportation and cannot use other services that may be inaccessible to noncitizens. Attempting to flee the haunted mansion is perilous.
Based on Adam Nevill’s book, Menghini’s “No One Gets Out Alive” uses a typical horror movie on Netflix structure to examine the genuine tragedy of how illegal immigrants are abused. Ambar is plagued by the death of her ill mother in a hospital scenario that we witness again and again throughout the film. Then, when she wakes up, she has to deal with the horror of being in a factory with other immigrants who want to take advantage of her innocence. This is before we think about the sketchy boarding house owners who take advantage of young women like Ambar who are new to the country.
Red (Marc Menchaca) and his much more frightening brother, Becker (David Figlioli), make for terrific villains with stone faces that conceal their actual intents, despite Ambar’s suspicions. The boys and the house have a horrible past that reminds me of movies like “The Living Idol” and “The Mummy,” in which explorers find a cursed object and then have to deal with it. Ambar’s distant cousin, Beto, is Ambar’s one opportunity to make a friend in Cleveland (David Barrera). However, his narrative demonstrates that there may be limitations to the generosity of American families who have established lives far away from their families overseas.
The tension in “No One Escapes Alive” is generated by both actual and otherworldly horrors. While I am less pleased with its final execution, Jon Croker and Fernanda Coppel’s screenplay has many positive qualities. The producers made a point to include undocumented immigrants from a variety of nations, not simply Spanish-speaking immigrants, and to put the plot in a location remote from the massive coastal cities that often host these types of films. It is a subtle acknowledgment of the general experiences of the immigrant population, without making it a narrative issue or detracting from the film’s foreboding atmosphere.
The appearance of the perpetrator of the assault towards the film’s conclusion is one of its greatest obstacles. The final villain in “No One Gets Out Alive” seemed so ridiculous that it caused me to leave the film and laugh.
At the film’s climactic high point, a creature emerges from the ominous-looking box with swole beefy arms-for-legs, a face that appears to be concealed by a shroud, a thick amphibian-like body, and thinner almost T-rex-sized arms with human-like hands designed to grab a victim’s head before decapitating it with a mouth full of teeth near the bottom of its body. More bluntly, it appears like a vagina dentata. Much of the film’s excitement is deflated by the incomprehensible combination of human body parts and animal-like skin.
No One Gets Out Alive offers a terrific idea and strong performances by Rodlo and her cast mates to hook an audience on the eerie narrative even if everything doesn’t exactly work. It’s entertaining enough to ring in the scary season of horror movie binges and rewatches this year. But “No One Gets Out Alive” should have kept that mystery to itself; not everything that goes bump in the night needs to be seen or explained.
The movie is now playing on Netflix.
Cast And Characters
“No One Gets Out Alive” horror movie characters and the cast is given below:
- Cristina Rodlo as Ambar
- David Figlioli as Becker
- Marc Menchaca as Red
- Moronkẹ Akinola as Kinsi
- David Barrera as Beto
- Victoria Alcock as Mary
- Phil Robertson as Arthur Welles
- Joana Borja as Simona
- Vala Noren as Freja
- Jeff Mirza as Motel Manager
- Alejandro Akara as Carlos
- Mitchell Mullen as Rilles