Available on Netflix, No One Leaves Here Alive is a disturbing horror film adapted from the novel of the same name by Adam Nevill. Here is what you need to know about this feature film combining supernatural and social criticism.
Adapted from part of a novel
Nobody Leaves Here Alive, a horror film available on Netflix, is adapted from the novel of the same name by Adam Nevill. Screenwriters Jon Crocker and Fernanda Coppel transposed the plot of the book, which was set in Birmingham, Cleveland in the United States. The main story remains the same: that of a lonely woman, with no money, who thinks she has finally found a room at affordable rent in a large house.
But the young woman will quickly realize that a disturbing atmosphere hangs over the house in which she hears the whispers, cries, footsteps and tears of women calling for help. This deadly atmosphere is accentuated as the owner proves to be as disturbing as he is dangerous and the heroine will quickly understand that she is stuck in this place.
The film, worn by Cristina Rodlo, Marc Menchaca, David Figlioli and David Barrera, focuses only on the first two parts of the novel. The third part of the book serves as a conclusion, the young woman taking a step back from her trying experience before being overtaken by horror.
Between The Haunting of Hill House and Panic Room
Director Santiago Menghini was asked by production company The Imaginarium to stage the adaptation of Nobody Leaves Here Alive. He indicated that he was “attracted by the dark and austere world that Adam Nevill created in his novel, by the disturbing atmosphere of the story and the brutal description of the world”.
No One Leaves Here Alive is a ghost story about a heroine trapped in a house with dark secrets. For Menghini, “the story has a particular tone that gradually closes on its heroine and a strange mystery at the heart of the story”. The director revealed that he took inspiration from David Fincher’s Panic Room and The Haunting of Hill House for the film’s aesthetic.
Social criticism and pagan rites
In the novel, the heroine is called Stéphanie and she is a single temp who struggles to make ends meet. All the women victims of this haunted house are lonely people that no one will come and claim. The film adds another layer to its heroine by making her an undocumented Mexican immigrant called Ambar.
The book already mixed social criticism with the fantastic and the film accentuates this trait. In addition to the relevant social observations, No One Leaves Here Alive also offers an account of the oppression of women by men through the mind of the creature of the house forcing in bloody rites. The enigmatic ending of the film suggests that Ambar will not leave the house or on the contrary that she is now possessed by this spirit and that she will take her revenge on men.