There are some activities that inspire us to take on once we see it, whether it’s crocheting, making Kombucha, baking endless loaves of bread, or something more sporty like running, skating or cycling. Then there are those activities that we leave to the professionals, or experts like Tom Cruise because there are some hobbies that for the love of God, many of us won’t do.
For those who have contemplated free climbing, Fall will change your mind.
This thriller is a mix of two elements. The first is having humans enjoy doing dangerous things in the name of fun, and we mean, really stupid, in a Jackass kind of way. The other is where as much as we recognise it’s silly, we somehow love watching movies of people doing stupid, dangerous things, and Fall is the best of both.
Here, best friends Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) do the unthinkable – free climb all the way to the top of a 2,000-foot radio tower with no protection whatsoever, just using their bare hands and feet in a pair of comfy shoes. Why? Well, the duo were once a trio of incredibly brave and adventurous people, but Becky’s husband died after falling off a cliff that they all free climbed together. Understandably, Becky goes into grief and depression, while Hunter chooses to run away from the trauma to become an influencer who documents herself performing dangerous climbs in tight sports bras and short shorts.
Their lives converge again when Hunter plans to climb the tower in order to take her followers to new heights, and to bring Becky out of her depression slump. With just a rope that keeps the girls tethered to each other as they climb the visibly old and rusty structure, the movie also holds our attention precariously, connecting so much with a thin rope that is on the verge of snapping.
Given the premise, one might think that Fall is an adventurous take on female friendships and how new experiences can help overcome trauma and adversity, but that’s not the case. The movie immediately takes a darker turn when the girls find themselves stuck at the top of the tower, with no cell service and sustenance. The bag they initially carried, which only holds one tiny bottle of water and Hunter’s drone, falls on a satellite dish a few feet below them after the tower’s rusty and old ladder falls apart the moment the girls attempt to climb down.
As Becky and Hunter try to find ways to get help and climb down the tower, the two learn dark secrets about each other, as they attempt to fight their biggest enemy: nature. Scorching hot days, chilly cold nights and vultures waiting for them to give up at any moment await the girls, and there is no dull moment in the film. In fact, from the first second where Becky and Hunter set their delicate palms on the rusty old ladder of the radio tower, viewers are instantly put into survival mode.
There are certain elements in the film that are predictable though, including jealousy, anger, betrayal and deceit, and it doesn’t take a genius to learn how their years of friendship can end in a few minutes, after being stuck on top of a tower for a few hours. That said, there is one particular story element – a major twist – that took us by complete surprise. As simple as the idea of Fall is, it still manages to keep you on your toes and shock you every once in a while with how things play out.
And if you have a particular fear of heights, or falling, or both, Fall will have you at the edge of your seat.
Throughout the movie, viewers are tested alongside the characters as to how they can survive atop the tower. In this modern age, getting stuck on a tower seems to be too simplistic, and modern problems are given and it’s impressive to see the ways in which the girls try to seek help from civilisation a mere 2,000 feet below them. Viewers might even want to take these tips down themselves, in case they find themselves in similar situations.
Still, the script is rather direct and unimaginative, and the characters are as one-dimensional as they can get, but newcomers Currey and Gardner do a particularly good job at engaging the audience. Viewers may find Hunter completely annoying and Becky a bland bowl of oatmeal, but it’s Hunter’s brazenness that allows us to experience this story in the first place, while Becky’s boring personality can really shock viewers by just how much people can change, and what they would do when being fed “survival of the fittest.”
Ultimately, Fall does its job in providing viewers with a thrilling experience that tests their ability to survive a deadly situation. While there are certain story elements that are predictable, especially if you’re a fan of such genres and have seen plenty of films with similar concepts, Fall delights with one major twist and character development that one may not see coming.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
A simple movie with a simple concept, Fall still manages to keep viewers on their toes, and at the edge of their seats.
Story - 6/10
Direction - 6/10
Characterisation - 6/10
Geek Satisfaction - 7/10