Posted in 2020-2029, Film Review

Fall (2022)

© Lionsgate and Signature Entertainment

Fall – Film Review

Cast: Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Mason Gooding, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Director: Scott Mann

Synopsis: Two friends find themselves stranded atop a 2,000ft tall radio tower…

Review: As human beings going about our day-to-day lives, we are accustomed to having our feet on terra firma for most of the time. However, there are those daredevils out there who love to be adventurous/out of their minds (delete where appropriate), and climb exceedingly tall structures all in the name of thrill-seeking and adventure. Such individuals form the basis for this simple, but undeniably extremely tense and nerve-shredding thriller which is exhilarating and positively terrifying for those who are utterly terrified of heights.

Becky (Currey) and Hunter (Gardner) are two best friends who love to go rock climbing. On one particular day, they are out climbing a mountain one day, with Becky’s husband Dan (Gooding), when tragedy strikes. Fast forward nearly a year, and Becky’s life has spiralled where she is in a deep depression and battling alcoholism. Upon encouragement from Hunter, the two of them set out to climb the 2,000 ft B67 TV tower in the middle of nowhere, so the two can rediscover their passion for adventure and enable Becky can finally move on from the tragic events one year prior. The adventure goes to plan when the two of them are, for a brief moment, on top of the world for a brief moment. However, as they begin to make their descent, disaster strikes as the ladder they used to climb up breaks apart, leaving them stranded atop the tower, with no way down and with very little in the way of supplies.

To put it into perspective, standing at 2,000ft, the B67 TV tower would be the fourth tallest building in the world behind only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Merdeka 118 in Malaysia and the Shanghai Tower, which is all sorts of terrifying. While the actors were not actually at such extraordinarily unnerving heights, the decision by the filmmakers to shoot on a practical location in the California desert, and construct the upper part of the tower on top of a mountain, is extremely effective as it adds a great of authenticity to the suspense. Mann’s direction, with the vertiginous cinematography and a very effective score, all combine to sell the peril of their situation and are guaranteed to make anyone sweat profusely with anxiety as the horror of the situation unfolds as these two battle the elements, and more, in their bid to stay alive.

The script by Mann and Jonathan Frank wastes little time establishing the core events which prompt Becky and Hunter to make this perilous ascent up to the top of this abandoned TV tower. To make matters worse for them, the platform at the top of the tower is exceedingly narrow, giving Becky and Hunter little room for manoeuvre as they must find a way to ensure they avoid that terrifying 2,000 ft drop back down to earth and alert the authorities to their plight. While the script does veer a bit into the overly dramatic with some of the dialogue between the two of them, it serves to develop the relationship between them, and the performances of both Currey and Gardner remain strong as the desperation of their plight means drastic action may well have to be taken sooner or later.

The seemingly hopeless nature of these two poor souls’ plight enables Mann to keep the audience on their toes throughout the film’s 97-minute run time, while retaining the nail-biting tension. Yet by the time it reaches the culmination of the third act, the ending does feel a little bit rushed. However, it is a refreshingly original and extremely effective tale of survival in the most perilous circumstances. By the time the credits begin to roll, and your heart rate has returned to normal,  you may be eternally thankful you’ve got those two feet on the ground and will almost certainly have no plans to scale such heights now, or at any point in the future.

The premise is totally absurd, but due to extremely compelling film-making, Fall is an enthralling and simultaneously terrifying white-knuckle ride. 



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