sunita mani, john reynolds

Brooklyn Hipsters Fight Off an Alien Invasion in the Sci-Fi Comedy Save Yourselves!

4/5 murder tribbles.

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How would millennials fare during an apocalyptic event? It’s a question that many of us have spent the last 8 months mulling over, with the results being a sad combination of doom-scrolling and buying toilet paper in bulk. It’s also the question central to the new science fiction comedy Save Yourselves! from writer-directors and real-life couple Alex H. Fischer (Snowy Bing Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone) and Eleanor Wilson (Possum).

The film centers on Su (GLOW‘s Sunita Mani) and Jack (Search Party‘s John Reynolds) a Brooklyn hipster couple addicted to technology and their phones. In an effort to return to nature and connect on a deeper level, the duo decide to unplug and spend a week at their friend’s cabin in upstate New York. Unfortunately, Jack and Su turn off their phones at the exact moment that aliens invade the planet.

The aliens look like innocuous little furry balls, which the couple call “pouffes”. In fact, they mistake an invading pouffe for an ottoman before they see it scurry out of sight. But the fuzzy spheres also feature long tongue-like deadly appendages, resulting in a unique creation that is part tribble, part xenomorph.

Save Yourselves! has a lot of fun with the alien conceit on a micro-budget, relying on practical effects and touch of CGI to create their alien invaders. As evidence of the invasion happens all around them, the self-absorbed couple remain oblivious to the ominous warning signs. The results are very funny, but come in second to the terrific performances by Mani and Reynolds.

The film is essentially a two-hander, and the duo display an easy, comfortable chemistry together, infusing their characters and their relationship with authenticity. Su and Jack have reached a cozy complacency where they have genuine love for one another while also being annoyed by each other’s idiosyncrasies. Anyone who has spent an evening on the couch with their partner while you both stare into your phones will instantly relate to the perils of modern love.

As Su and Jack realize what’s happening, they bemoan their complete lack of survival skills. Reynolds, who plays a variation on his Search Party hipster, panics over his inability to chop wood or know when a bathroom needs to be cleaned. When they find a gun in the basement, they have an impassioned dialogue about gun safety instead of shooting the aliens. They are completely unequipped for the apocalypse, but they have each other at least.

The film does a great job of portraying characters in crisis, while staying grounded and intensely relatable. It also serves as an apt metaphor for commitment and relationships. Every day, couples dive into life-changing events like marriage and having children. And while sometimes it feels like the end of the world, most of the time it’s not.

There’s lots to enjoy in this inventive, clever film that plays like a screwball War of the Worlds filtered through Shaun of the Dead. Save Yourselves! is a welcome mash-up of horror, comedy, and science fiction that is sure to delight. Just watch out for those pouffes.

Save Yourselves! is now available on SVOD and in select theaters.

(featured image: Bleecker Street)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.