“Fall (2022).” Like spinning the wheel marked with people’s greatest fears and landing on acrophobia, the latest addition to the thriller subgenre of one-person, anxious situations is Fall, a movie that will be excruciating for anyone afraid of heights but might otherwise be a bit of a bore for someone looking for excitement that goes beyond that.
Movies like Fall don’t require much character work or much plot beyond the situation at the center of the movie, and Fall is no coup. With predictable twists and one creaky character, the Lionsgate movie tries to do something different from others of its ilk, but it can’t quite reach the heights its main characters don’t (and should) fear.
Fall (2022): Movie Review
Fall follows Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) as they climb a rock face with Becky’s husband Dan (Mason Gooding) as the movie opens. When Dan tragically dies, Becky is sent into grief as she gives up her favorite pastimes of free climbing and pole dancing to wallow alone in a bar. Hunter soon shows up with a suggestion to climb a 2,000-foot radio tower.
Mainly so she could shoot a drone video of Becky hanging from the ledge for her 60,000 followers. When Becky and Hunter reach the top of the decommissioned tower, the ladder falls, leaving them stranded nearly half a mile above the desert with no cell service, no water, and no way down.
When it comes to survival thrillers, Fall follows the playbook created by movies like 47 Meters Down or Crawl. As Becky and Hunter watch the desert surrounding them, Fall offers plenty of visuals that are rendered well enough, with the desert surrounding them even more deadly at 2,000 feet above the ground. With limited space to move, it adds a new dimension to claustrophobic thrillers, making the sky as terrifying as the endless ocean in survival thrillers like Open Water.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t add much to the genre itself. One twist meant to land an emotional punch is telegraphed early on and in a way that shows eager viewers what’s to come. Another twist, while not as obvious, doesn’t go as well as it should. The Fall’s nearly two-hour running time also makes things seem stretched when thrillers like these are better served with more brisk runs that don’t allow for much thought between their obligatory plot points.
As Becky and Hunter’s circumstances become increasingly dire, their rescue efforts are almost laughable. That’s the problem with the Fall setting. They can do nothing but watch from 2,000 feet in the air as their attempts fail. There is no way to climb down, and no way to call for help. They have to rely on trying to contact those on the ground, and if they fail, there isn’t much left. While their rescue attempts are funny, nothing is as funny as the incorporation of Becky’s pole dancing skills or the use of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” in one nail-biting sequence.
Gardner and Currey do what they can with the material, but both Gooding and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (as Becky’s father) are criminally underused, a fault of the movie’s setting more than anything else. Sure, the movie adds a new spin to the survival thriller genre, but it bets so heavily on the idea that heights are scary (even if its protagonists don’t think so) that there isn’t much left to do by the end of the movie. . When the fall ends, it commits a cardinal genre sin that can leave audiences scratching their heads.
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