Fall (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – Best friends Becky and Hunter find themselves at the top of a 2,000-foot radio tower.

My Take – With the tagline stating ‘From the makers of 47 Meters Down (2017)’, it is easy for anyone going into this film to know what to expect. A new survival thriller which once again sees two young women trapped in an absolutely absurd yet undeniably effective nightmare. In this film’s case, a 2000-foot decommissioned vertical lattice tower, which sees two thrill-seeking best friends scale and find themselves stuck on a platform barely large enough for anyone to sit.

Packed with enough jump scares and bloodshed to blur genre lines, here, director Scott Mann (The Tournament, Final Score), who co-wrote the film with Jonathan Frank, constantly keep both stakes and emotional investment high by constantly building tension. While I am no acrophobic, I had to constantly close my eyes due to the anxiety caused by this vertigo-inducing nail-biter. There were times I was on the edge of my seat, clinched and sweaty, just imagining being up on that tower myself.

Sure, as the script was originally developed as a short, it could feel overlong and overrun with gimmicks and jump scares, but it also offers one hell of an adrenaline rush especially as the terrific camera work and the performances of the two actresses keeps propelling the film forward from one absolutely terrifying disaster to the next. Without a doubt, this should be seen on the largest screen possible.

The story follows Becky (Grace Caroline Currey), a skilled mountain climber who is still in mourning after witnessing the accidental death of her husband, Dan (Mason Gooding), while scaling a mountain with her best friend, Hunter (Virginia Gardner). Frustrated by her refusal to move on by drowning herself in booze, James (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Becky’s dad, gets in touch with Hunter, who is now a social media influencer, to motive her to rejoin society. Hunter’s big idea is for the two ladies to climb the 2000-foot tall B67 TV Tower, once billed as the tallest structure in the U. S., but is now a long-abandoned relic.

Though Becky resists at first she eventually gives in, thinking that she could spread Mason’s ashes at the top of the tower. On the way up, the ladies climb a rusty and shaky a ladder and triumphantly taking selfies at the top, that is until the way back down collapses, leaving the two stranded on a small platform at the top of the tower.

Yes, the bulk of the film consists of two characters stuck in one place, and with a running time of 107 minutes it might feel a tad too long for such a simplistic premise, but director Scott Mann and co-writer Jonathan Frank keep us constantly engaged by following a lot of the formulas for these kinds of films. Finding an impressive amount of mileage from two people stuck on a small grate with a small bag. And by carefully enumerating the resources the two have at their disposal so that we can enjoy watching them figure out how to deploy these pieces wisely or wince as they waste chances. All while avoiding the circling vultures and whipping winds.

Sure, the set-up is ridiculous and the script isn’t equipped enough to find a believable justification as to why someone would trying to get over such horrific trauma would want to do something quite so deranged, yet none of that really matters once we’re halfway up.

There are two silly, derivative twists, the first incredibly easy to spot and the second incredibly easy to get annoyed with, but it’s mostly a pretty straightforward against-the-odds thriller. Despite an astonishingly low $3m budget, director Scott Mann manages to make the high-in-the-sky danger feel scarily, stomach-churningly real by injecting quite a lot of close-shave situations and some back stories.

Most of all, this is an impressive feat of cinema. The bulk of the film was shot on a 60-foot platform on top of a mountain, to keep things looking realistic. Of course, that only makes the film all the more harrowing.

The tension of it all is heightened even more so by the two fully committed performances from Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner, who do a fantastic job with choreography and conveying fear. It is Currey and Gardner’s film and if they weren’t up to the task it would be glaringly obvious. The duo have a solid chemistry that offers up a plausible explanation for the film’s conceit even if it is a bit far-fetched.

In smaller roles, Mason Gooding is effective, while Jeffrey Dean Morgan does a fine job playing the concerned father but has a total of about ten lines the entire film. On the whole, ‘Fall’ is a wildly effective survival thriller that is non-stop compelling and vertigo inducing.

Directed –

Starring – Grace Fulton, Virginia Gardner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 107 minutes

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