Fall (2022) Review

Fall 2022 Review 1

Fall came out swinging with a lot of promise before its release. Much like films like Open Water, or The Shallows, it traps its main characters in an impossible situation, with much of the runtime being devoted to clinging onto what little hope they have left for survival. Directed by Scott Mann, Fall manages to be both nerve wracking and dull all during the 1 hour 45 minute runtime.  

Scott Mann and co-writer Jonathan Frank bring a fair amount of interesting ideas to the table with Fall. It does a great job setting up the situation and giving the audience a glimpse of the trauma the main characters are suffering through that leads them to the events of the film. With most of the film set 2,000 feet in the air, Fall is not a movie for people that hate heights, and even with the film losing steam, the sense of dread and danger is always prevalent, even before the tension is cranked to eleven.

Fall 2022 Review 2

After Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) loses her husband Dan (Mason Gooding) to a rock climbing accident, her world is shattered. She no longer has the adventurous spirit she is known for and has lost most of her reason to live. It is not until her best friend and extreme adventure YouTuber Hunter (Virginia Gardner) suggests a new climb that things start looking up. They hear of an abandoned 2,000-foot radio tower in the middle of nowhere that would be a good way to confront Becky’s fear, and spread the ashes of her late husband.

Since this is a thriller, it goes without saying things do not go as planned. What starts off as a way to confront past trauma quickly turns into something far worse than either friend could have imagined. While things start off smoothly, as the two friends make their way up the 2,000-foot climb, the age and weather beaten tower starts to show. The ladder that served as the only way to go up or down collapses, leaving our two main characters stranded with no lifeline or plan for help. 

Fall does a great job making this climb feel insurmountable, one that even if everything went right could be dangerous.”

It is a solid concept, and one that had me tense during its opening minutes. Fall does a great job making this climb feel insurmountable, one that even if everything went right could be dangerous. The creaking metal and the slow ascent to the top makes each stage of the journey feel taxing, taking everything Becky and Hunter have to overcome. Even knowing there was something that would trap them on the tower, the anxiety and build up to that moment worked very well, never letting you feel at ease or safe.

The only issue is, this build up is the best part of the film, with the rest a downward slide into absurd choices and comical outcomes. Despite the serviceable performances by Grace Caroline Currey and Mason Gooding, little can save a film when the script simply does not make sense. Being stuck on a 2,000-foot radio tower is a great setup, but when you start throwing in scenes with vultures attacking, nonsensical choices by the main characters, and drones, the premise and concept starts to seem a bit silly. 

Fall 2022 Review 3

This is even more true when you consider the bloated 107-minute runtime that drags on as the film loses its sense of dread and feels like it is spinning its wheels to keep things going on longer. Filmed in the Mojave Desert, Fall is a film that had some great concepts but did not know how to make it all flow into a serviceable and engaging story. Films that rely on the horror of a situation need to feel believable, where the audience can see themselves in the shoes of the characters, but when you throw in dream sequences, random twists, and out of the blue melodrama, the core premise is quickly lost.

I wanted to like Fall far more than I did, especially with a cast list that includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but the truth is the film just did not work. There was a good movie in there somewhere, especially with the strong performance of Grace Caroline Currey leading the way. Had they taken time to cut the fat and deliver a story that never let go of its concept, it could have worked. Sadly, in the end, Fall like many great ideas turned into a movie, failed to stick the 2,000-foot landing.

Final Thoughts

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