Following a tragedy climber Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) is convinced to join her friend, social media star Hunter (Virginia Gardner), who wants to climb a 2,000-foot radio tower. Initially reluctant, Becky decides to put her grief to one side and the two friends head off to the tower. After reaching the tower’s summit, the girls find themselves stranded when the ladder they climbed up breaks away. With limited resources, Becky and Hunter have to find a way out of their situation or they face losing their lives.
Director Scott Mann is known for his nail-biting films so it’s no surprise that ‘Fall’ has been selected as the closing film at this year’s Arrow Video FrightFest. While not strictly speaking a horror movie, ‘Fall’ is a tense thriller that slowly unfolds as the situation becomes more dire for the main characters. After a rather on the nose opening sequence that sets up Becky’s character, the audience is introduced to the vibrant Hunter who embodies the Gen-Z social media stereotype. Before you know it Becky’s agreeing to accompany her friend despite having a ton of baggage she’s not dealt with weighing her down.
The set-up is done well and it is truly nail-biting watching Becky and Hunter climbing the tower, but once they’re at the top the cracks begin to show (and I’m not just referring to the ladder that breaks away and leaves them stranded). As with any film of this nature, a limited setting brings with it limited options and rather than delivering a tense and lean story, ‘Fall’ feels unnecessarily bloated. The script veers into cliché as the girls become (temporarily at least) caught up in their own personal drama rather than the fact they might die if they don’t find a way off the tower.
The lead actors Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner are good in their roles as Becky and Hunter. While their characters are painted in the broadest of strokes, the actors at least forge a chemistry that makes them believable as friends. They’re able to switch between the film’s lighter and darker moments with relative ease, and they rise above the script which could have done with tightening in a few places.
‘Fall’ is a perfectly entertaining popcorn flick but it doesn’t reach the heady heights of other movies of this nature such as ‘Phonebooth’ or ‘Crawl’. If the film had taken itself a little less seriously and cut down the running time, it would have been a breezier but still enjoyable watch. As it stands, ‘Fall’ doesn’t quite deliver on its promise and the final moments leave a lot to be desired, oddly feeling rushed despite the prior half an hour feeling far too padded.
Cast: Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mason Gooding Director: Scott Mann Writers: Jonathan Frank & Scott Mann Certificate: 15 Duration: 107 mins Released by: Signature Entertainment Release date: 2nd September 2022