This brilliant, hidden sci-fi gem is an alien invasion film like no other

The big picture

  • Save yourselves!
    is a unique alien invasion comedy that follows a Brooklyn couple cut off from the world and unprepared for the Pouffe invasion.
  • The film focuses on introspective character development, showcasing the couple's quirks and peculiarities as they struggle to survive and find themselves.
  • Save yourselves!
    reflects the extreme interconnectedness of modern society and the problems of the turn of the millennium and is therefore understandable.

After watching a film that puts its protagonists through the wringer, you can’t help but ask yourself: “Would I have survived that?” Do you think you are strong enough to survive the wastelands of Mad Max or escape one of the Jurassic Park Islands? Do you have the tenacity of a Final Girl in a horror movie or are you likely to be just another victim of the killer? While it is an exciting idea to imagine that you could be the unexpected hero who can overcome all obstacles, the harsh but realistic truth is that most people probably wouldn't make it.

But of course there is no guarantee, and this film asks what an ordinary person, more versed in email etiquette than survival skills, might do at the end of his life. Published in 2020, Save yourselves! is an alien invasion film like no other. Following the most unprepared and unlikely of protagonists, the film is a hilarious sci-fi comedy that balances absurd humor with surprisingly honest reflections on oneself, one's place in the world, and a life that actually means something in the vast expanse of the universe.

“Save yourselves!” is simple and so, so strange

Save yourselves! has an unconventional, yet incredibly comprehensible structure that initially feels out of place in the science fiction genre. It is about a millennial couple living in Brooklyn, Su (Sunita Mani) and Jackie (John Paul Reynolds) who feel aimless and long for more meaning. After experiencing burnout in their lives and hoping to develop a sense of self-worth and direction, You take a break and decide to disconnect from the worldby isolating themselves from their phones and the internet while staying at a friend's cabin. However, as Su and Jackie attempt to build a deeper connection with each other and themselves, they inadvertently remain completely unaware of a brutal alien invasion taking place right around them.


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“If we don’t see each other again: good day, good evening and good night.”

In keeping with the film's lighthearted and silly tone, the aliens that invade the planet are also quite unexpected. The Pouffes, as Su calls them, are fur-covered, spherical aliens that otherwise appear like an avant-garde piece of furniture. Despite their cuddly appearance, however, the Pouffes are exceptionally deadly. They can move surprisingly quickly and have an insatiable appetite for ethanol, using their long tentacle-like appendage to suck up everything from alcohol to gasoline. And although they are not depicted in the film, screenwriters and directors have Alex H. Fischer And Eleanor Wilson hilariously developed complicated backstories for the seat cushions, giving each colored fluff ball its own personality and backstory. When Su and Jackie discover a seat cushion in their cabin, they turn their phones back on and receive alarming messages. While they were disconnected, the Pouffe invasion of Earth had begun. Through numerous shocking and desperate messages from people in New York, the two learn that the seat cushions are extremely deadly and have already caused devastation across the country.

“Save Yourself!” is a science fiction comedy full of personality

Although it is a film about an alien invasion, Save yourselves! feels much more like an introspective character piece than one would expect. It's more of a slice of life and relationship story than a sci-fi adventure. Su and Jackie spend most of the film alone together, carrying the burden of the narrative through their interactions. The film includes even the briefest interactions, like their quick checklist before closing on the apartment, that would otherwise be unnecessary in a sci-fi film. Rather than being redundant, These moments serve to show the depth and complexity of the two characters through their quirks and peculiarities. Jackie is a terrible listener who has trouble communicating his feelings, but it later emerges that this stems from his own insecurities about his masculinity. Su is constantly overloaded with work and tries too hard to make meaningful connections, but this is rooted in her own troubling fear for her future and her worth.

But aside from the quieter, emotional moments, Su and Jackie are both incredibly funny from start to finish. Their reactions to the pouffe invasion balance between realistic and completely absurd; they earnestly try to be intelligent about survival, reminding the audience that life can feel like a comedy sometimes. They're smart enough to close all the windows and stay awake all night to avoid classic horror movie cliches, but they're also both completely unprepared with their limited survival skills. The pair make their lack of knowledge known early on, noting that they wanted to go offline in part to learn some more tangible skills as their lack of other skills left them feeling inadequate. It's an experience unique to a more tech-savvy generation that has lost touch with physical labor. Watching people stumble through survival with the best intentions and ideas but complete unpreparedness is as funny as it is relatable.

“Save yourselves!” is a ruthless reflection of modern society

In “Save Yourselves!” Su eats a pint of ice cream and Jackie eats a pizza while the two scroll through their phones on the couch.
Image via Bleecker Street

Films can be timeless, but they can also be precise from the time. Save yourselves! belongs to the latter category, as the film seems to be a surprisingly realistic portrayal of life in the millennial generation and the worries that come with it. The desire to find meaning is a universal human experience. but it's presented through a distinctly 21st century lens. No other time period has had to contend with the often overwhelming hyper-connectedness that modern technology brings. As with most protagonists, the stressors of a challenge push them to outdo their current state, forcing them to rely on no one but themselves to, well, save themselves.

Finally the end of Save yourselves! remains open, the questions are partially but perhaps not completely answered. Su and Jackie both get harderthey find their strength in difficult times and even develop a sense of purpose and responsibility when they save a baby whose parents were killed by pouffes. However, the fate of the couple and the future of humanity remain uncertain. In this uncertainty, the film underlines its unique creative direction. Save yourselves! hardly feels like an alien invasion movie, but that's exactly the point. Su and Jackie are time capsules of this era and brilliantly illustrate what it's like to be in your early 30s. The comedy of a pouf invasion is a completely absurd premise, and the film embraces this strangeness without hesitation, making the film one of the most memorable science fiction films of recent years.

Save yourselves! is available in the US on Max

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