Hipsters mean well and Su (Sunita Mani) Jack (John Reynolds) are no exception in the new horror-comedy SAVE YOURSELVES. Taking a micro approach to the apocalyptic alien invasion film writer-director duo Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson focus on a fastidious Brooklyn couple who decide to “disconnect” on the same weekend that fuzzy beings begin to swarm the planet. The result is not for everyone but it is a remarkably funny observation of human behavior in an age of reticence and awareness during chaos.
If there were an Oscar for casting director, Djinous Rowling would be a shoo-in. Stars Mani and Reynolds dominate the film with the indelible chemistry of a couple in tune with intention yet utterly bereft. As a decision and with utmost clarification, the two decide to leave the city and rent a cabin in the country while at the same time disconnecting. They send out messages to relatives, the put up alerts on their emails, all with the idea of not alarming their friends and loved ones. The two get to the idyllic cabin and begin to settle into peace, calm, and nature. Then the poufs arrive. Little furballs that seem like couture furniture until they spew elastic tentacles in defense, murdering their prey.
What do the puffballs want? No matter really. The focus here is how a disconnected couple spots the ambiguous threat and defends against it. At one point the two dig up an old gun in the cabin despite their stance on firearms and find common ground in using it for defense. Again I have to hand most of the credit to selling the scene to actors Mani and Reynolds. The improv line delivery and the chemistry the two create transcends normal situation comedy and becomes an existential debate on every level.
On the technical level SAVE YOURSELVES pulls back on the adequate effects and allows the actors to become the scene. Andrew Orkin‘s music remarkably captures new-age instrument hipness with classic signaling to provoke comedic urgency. The script and direction from Fischer Wilson demands lightness, and savvy.
There are twists and turns along the way but, unfortunately, the third act slumps as the plot backs itself into a corner. We get an ending that left this reviewer wanting. Thankfully what IS here is hilarious. An oddball comedy of manners and awareness SAVE YOURSELVES treats the audience with great comedic timing, a wonderful score, clever direction, and great comedic performances from the two leads that take us on a hair-raising, fuzz covered ride.
7 out of 10 Fuzzy Aliens