Netflix Psychological Horror Thriller Takes No Prisoners

By Robert Scucci | Published

No one Gets Out Alive

If you’re thinking that a down-on-her-luck immigrant throwing down all of her money to rent a room in a dilapidated boarding house sounds like the premise to an episode of Hey Arnold!, then you haven’t seen No One Gets Out Alive on Netflix. Comparisons to Nickelodeon aside, No One Gets Out Alive is a terrifying film that’s not just about ghosts, but also the scariest thing of all: dealing with your landlord.

Ambar And Red

no one gets out alive

No One Gets Out Alive centers on Ambar (Christina Rodlo), a young illegal immigrant who moves to Cleveland, Ohio from Mexico in search of a better life after taking care of her sick and dying mother for years.

Having put her life on hold while taking care of her mother, she has limited resources after her mother passes away, and works as a seamstress for cash because she doesn’t have proper work documents. Having barely any money to her name, Ambar has very few ways to obtain temporary housing, so she rents a room from Red (Marc Menchaca).

Red seems like a reasonable guy, but wants Ambar to pay her first month’s rent in cash. Ambar is grateful for her temporary living situation while she gets on her feet and tries to secure citizenship, but quickly realizes that the boarding house is haunted by the ghosts of other undocumented women who died under mysterious circumstances in No One Gets Out Alive.

Having been told by Red that she’s living in a women’s only boarding house, Ambar is surprised when she finds out that Red’s mentally unstable brother, Becker (David Figlioli), also occupies a room.

Red Is Keeping Secrets

Always thinking that somebody is standing right behind her in No One Gets Out Alive, Ambar eventually makes her way into Red’s study and discovers endless amounts of ancient texts and artifacts that suggest there’s an evil presence in the boarding house.

Not only are there ghosts lurking in the darkness, several other women renting rooms mysteriously come and go, and it becomes apparent that Red isn’t being entirely honest with her about whatever presence has taken over the house. Ambar’s suspicions are all but confirmed when she talks to other women, who are all having the same terrifying dreams about an ancient concrete box that resembles a tomb.

A Terrifying Build Up To A Not So Great Reveal

no one gets out alive

No One Gets Out Alive is genuinely creepy at first, but one of those movies that would have been better off with a different third act. After about 60 minutes of buildup and effective “look over your shoulder” kind of moments, this film generates some great scares that are the result of not entirely knowing what’s going on.

But a third-act reveal can make a break a horror movie, and I can’t say I was thrilled by this film’s conclusion because it takes a heavy-handed CGI approach that doesn’t seem consistent with the rest of its storytelling.

Still A Good Watch

I still thoroughly enjoyed watching No One Gets Out Alive because its commentary on the treatment of undocumented women tracks with most true crime stories I’ve read and watched over the years. It’s a perfect setup because the people that go missing in this movie are transient and have no family or friends to search for them if they go missing.

Though this level of realism in No One Gets Out Alive is offset by what I consider to be a disappointing ending, it’s a worthwhile watch because Amber’s suspicion, and Red’s unwillingness to tell her what’s really going on, make for some great moments of suspense.

Stream It Now


No One Gets Out Alive tackles some pretty ugly systemic issues that occur in our country that shouldn’t be ignored, and Christina Rodlo does an excellent job portraying a woman who’s simply searching for a better life despite the hand she’s been dealt. Maybe I’m being too hard on the use of CGI in the third act, but I know what I like, and I didn’t like that.

If you’re not as nit-picky as I am when it comes to how special effects are used in modern horror movies, you’ll love everything that No One Gets Out Alive has to offer. At the end of the day, this movie is an effective horror thriller that will keep you guessing, and you can stream it on Netflix right now.