‘Save Yourselves!’ Review: Alien Invasion in the Smartphone Generation

Imagine surviving an alien invasion when you’re a staunchly anti-gun Brooklyn millennial with no survival skills beyond making a sourdough starter. That amusing premise sets the stage for this apocalyptic comedy from the writer-directors Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson, which should belong in a subgenre sillier than “mumblegore,” the horror offshoot of the low-budget, dialogue-heavy mumblecore.

Sunita Mani (“Glow”) and John Reynolds (“Search Party”) star as Su and Jack, a 30-something couple who have inadvertently fallen into a digital throuple with Alexa — of the Amazon kind — because of their Internet-addicted lifestyles. Determined to connect with each other and not their devices, the two make a pact to go upstate and turn off their phones and laptops. What a week to unplug: Extraterrestrials take over the world, but Su and Jack miss the news. What follows is an unconventional alien horror.

The quirky “Save Yourselves!” is not necessarily a genre reinventor but a good example of how much fun you can have on a non-studio budget. The extraterrestrials are comically understated: just cute fluffy balls called “puffs.” But the film incorporates visual flourishes where it can, basking in beautiful light.

The humor may be predictably mined from perpetually-made-fun-of millennials, but the charming leads turn self-aware jabs into endearing confessions. In one of the best scenes, Jack breaks down over his inability to fish or plumb — “I don’t know how to be a man!”— only to swing into his brand of nouveau masculinity, crying, “I am such a bad listener!” The sourdough endeavors and end-of-the-world plot will feel eerily prescient, but the film resists being a downer — finding a comedic tone that’s out of this world.

Save Yourselves!
Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 33 minutes. In theaters. Please consult the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies inside theaters.

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