FALL Review


Hollywood seems to have always had a fascination with ‘disaster’ films. Whether it really happened or whether it was created in the mind of a screenwriter a good old fashioned disaster or someone’s life being placed in peril on the screen always seems to attract an audience.

I’ll admit that I am one of those people that has a morbid fascination with these kinds of films. I blame it on the fact that as a kid I stumbled across Towering Inferno in a video store and instantly fell in love with it. Even in recent years I have loved films like 127 Hours and The Reef despite the move away from these films being action blockbusters to a more personal feel of movie.

Now comes Fall and I have to say this film blew me away. Yes there are more holes in the plot then you will find in Swiss cheese and the ending left me underwhelmed (more on that later) but this is still a film that I have already seen multiple times.

The films begins with Becky Connor (Grace Caroline Curry – Shazam!) rock climbing a dangerous cliff face alongside her husband Dan (Mason Gooding – Scream) and best friend Shiloh Hunter (Virginia Gardner – Halloween). In one instant Becky’s life changes forever as a bird startles Dan and he plummets to his death.

Flash-forward to 12 months later and Becky is a shell of the woman she once was. Her fitness regime has been replaced with heavy drinking. Her once tidy apartment is a mess and even Dan’s unscattered ashes litter the kitchen table. Desperate to get her help her father, James (Jeffrey Dean Morgen – The Walking Dead) confronts her, but when that ends with her shutting him out of her life he begs Hunter to step and do something.

After the incident Hunter’s life has also dramatically changed. She is now an online influencer who attracts people to her vlog by doing dangerous climbing stunts. Her pitch to get Becky back on her feet is for her to travel with her and together the pair will climb the tallest communications tower in the USA where they will scatter Dan’s ashes from the top. What neither of them realise is the serious disrepair that the tower is in and that once you start climbing cell reception is non-existant.

Despite the obvious flaws in this film I still found it compelling viewing. First of all Becky and Hunter are interesting characters and have been well-developed in Jonathan Frank (The Tournament) and director Scott Mann’s (Heist) screenplay. If these characters had been the generic kind of characters that these films sometimes produce I don’t think I would have ever have found myself so invested in their safety. Even more credit must be paid to the fact that somehow this screenplay contains some brilliantly written natural dialogue and despite the situation the pair find themselves in I think it contributed to me feeling like I was right there with them. There are also some awesome twists and turns in there that as an audience member you don’t see coming either.

What blew me away the most about this film though is the visuals. Together Scott Mann and cinematographer McGregor (Vivarium) have created one of the best looking films of the year. The scenary in this film looks like something that is normally only seen in an IMAX documentary while the shots of the pair on the tower capture the moment so well that some audience members have reported suffering from vertigo in the cinema. I just found myself staring at the screen in awe as the duo came up with creative shot after creative shot in such a way that they almost re-define the way shots like this should be captured.

With so many brilliant things working in this film it was therefore a shock to me that one part of it could let me down so much. The ending happens so quickly it feels like the producers ran out of money or something. It is a real shock to the system because the film draws you in so well and makes you part of what is happening and then bang it just ends with a finale that while it does resolve everything leaves you feeling far from fulfilled.

I so didn’t think I would be saying this but Fall is a stunningly brilliant film. Great visuals, do yourself a favour and see it in IMAX if you can, and two actresses who not only carry the film but enhance an already pretty well written screenplay make for one of the most exciting films of the year.

3.5/5 Stars