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Fall (2022) – Review

November 3, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B- – the $3 million budgeted Fall features a lot to be admired, however, too many twists and unnecessary drama weigh it down. It’s still worth watching because of Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner, and the clever production design by Scott Daniel. 

Fall tells the story of two friends Becky (Grace Caroline Currey), and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) climbing to the top of a remote 2,000 foot-tall TV tower so they can spread the ashes of Becky’s late-husband Dan (Mason Gooding), who died during a rock climbing accident. Since it’s a survival thriller, things go horribly awry when after spreading the ashes, the ladder at the top of the tower breaks off and leaves the two stranded 2,000 feet in the air without food, water or cell service. Aside from the initial melodrama, it’s a good idea that director Scott Mann can’t quite make work. Unlike The Shallows (86 minutes), or this year’s Beast (which runs a refreshing 93 minutes), which are both lean-and-mean, Fall leans into melodrama and cringey-twists that aren’t necessary. Yes, it’s hard to stretch out a movie about two people trapped on a tower, but between the initial climb, retrieving a fallen backpack which is dangling out of reach below them, and hungry vultures, there’s enough there to sustain a movie. Watching the film made me appreciate The Shallows more because the 2016 movie starring Blake Lively builds drama by simply stranding lively’s character on a rock during low tide, and forcing her to figure out her next steps before she’s eaten by a jerky great white shark. There’s no cheating subplot (like in this year’s Shark Bait, which muddied it’s plot with too much drama), horrifying sibling death (The Reef: Stalked), or added drama (Blackwater: Abyss) that has been plaguing recent survival thrillers. 

Despite there being too much drama, Fall is technically sound and a lot of that is because it was mostly shot on location in the Mojave Desert. The on location shoot adds a lot to the credibility of the film, and it genuinely does induce some queasiness when the characters get 2,000 feet in the air. The cinematography by MacGregor (Vivarium) is effective as it captures the expanse of the mojave desert while constantly letting viewers know these two characters are in a lot of trouble. It’s also cool that the same people who built the actual towers that inspired this story were the ones who built the tower for the production. There’s a lot to like here, and it would’ve been cool to see Fall in a theater because it actually tries to make audiences say “wow.”  I also wanted to give props to actors Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner, who are totally believable and pull off the very physical roles with ease. It would be cool to see them in another film where they’re forced to battle the crawlers from The Descent (a classic survival horror film that I love). 

Final thoughtsFall is worth a watch because of the performances and VFX, but I just wish it ditched the drama and was confident enough to know that people being stuck 2,000 feet in the air is enough drama.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 6, 2022 10:49 pm

    I’ve read other reviews that say the same thing, it gets too bogged down with drama that doesn’t add anything to the story and suspense. I’ll give it a watch to see how intense the high altitude gets, sounds like they did a good job of that. Thanks for the honest review and pointing out the good and the bad.

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