Two thrill seeking friends take on the ultimate challenge, to climb an abandoned 2000ft radio tower and not fall
In ‘Fall’, the most prominent theme is fear and how best to overcome it. Fear can be overwhelming, crippling or just hazardous to our progress. How can we ever succeed if we are too afraid to try? But is fear always a negative element? Is it something we should always face, or does it serve a deeper evolutionary purpose? Fear is typically used to describe our emotional reaction to dangerous situations. Like an in-built warning that we aren’t safe. So maybe fear is essential for our survival?
‘Fall’ is a survival thriller from director Scott Mann and tells a story of love, loss, redemption and a fear of heights. The movie begins with couple Becky and Dan alongside their best friend Hunter on a rock-climbing expedition which ends with the tragic accidental death of Dan. Becky withdraws from the world to deal with the loss while Hunter leaves town and becomes a social media personality by the name of ‘Dangerous D’. She takes on extreme challenges and streams them for her social media channels. She returns after a year to encourage Becky to join in on her latest challenge- Climbing an isolated 2000ft abandoned radio tower.
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They complete the perilous climb to the top and mask in the euphoria of their accomplishment. As they attempt to make their way down, their path has become damaged, and they soon realise they are stranded. That’s not a spoiler considering its featured heavily in the movies trailer. What follows is a harrowing tale of survival against the elements and they must go without food, water and sleep while they wait for help. They use the technology they have and some smart ideas to try and attract attention to their location but as every attempt fails, they become more desperate, and any hope of rescue begins to fade as the vulture’s circle above.
‘Fall’ is an original survival thriller which exploits our (rational) fear of heights. Director Scott Mann uses every angle to put us front and centre of the action and give us a close-up perspective of the dangers being faced. The camera work and drone shots are fantastic and really deliver some stunning views which would be more appreciated if they weren’t facing death. He does repeat the same technique a number of times to repeatedly provoke the same reaction from the audience. And it works every time because most of us have a healthy fear of heights.
Due to the nature of the film, it’s up to the lead actresses Virginia Gardner (Hunter) and Grace Caroline Currey (Becky) to carry the movie. Their performances are adequate with lots of the kind of shouting and screaming you would expect in a teen horror movie. The Tower acts as a character in itself and its changing structure, from broken ladders to loosening screws keeps the tension going
‘Fall’ is a one-dimensional movie which relies completely on our fear of heights. It tries to add some character development and story layers, but everything comes down to the Tower and the possibility of falling. As a survival/disaster film, it’s quite an original idea so it gets points for that. I wasn’t as concerned for the girl’s survival as I was curious about if and how they eventually get down. A capable, interesting survival thriller which spends 90mins of exploiting our fear of heights and actually provides a nice bit of escapism.
Fall is showing in cinemas now, see it on the big screen if possible. Watch the official trailer here