Sunday 23 July 2023

Movie Review: Fall (2022)

Genre: Survival Thriller
Director: Scott Mann
Starring: Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner
Running Time: 107 minutes

Synopsis: Adventurer Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) loses her husband in a mountain climbing accident. A year later, Becky's father James (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is still unable to yank her out of an alcohol-fueled depression. But her vivacious vlogger friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) finally convinces Becky to join her on a climb of a 2,000 foot abandoned television tower located in the desert. The harrowing climb goes well, but when a rusty ladder collapses Becky and Hunter are stranded at the top of the tower with minimal equipment and no easy way to summon help.

What Works Well: The simple premise (reminiscent of similar adventures-gone-wrong like The Shallows and Adrift) is transformed into a thrilling survival drama as two women on a pizza-sized platform high above Earth face multiple mortal threats including dehydration, starvation, sunburn, and vultures. Director and co-writer Scott Mann delivers expansive cinematics while restricting Becky and Hunter to minimal tools and robbing them of their back pack. The personalities of the two women add immeasurably to the tension, the fragile Becky and fearless Hunter leaning on each other and making some unexpected discoveries about their friendship.

What Does Not Work As Well: Although still well-delivered, a couple of twists are not difficult to spot. Given the experience of the two protagonists, only ridiculously poor climb preparations make the plot work, including basics like not telling anyone where they are and when to expect them back.

Conclusion: The desperate descent attempts are as exhilarating as the view from the top.

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