Fall (2022) – A Review

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A review of the 2002 suspense survival film Fall, about two climbers who get trapped on top of an abandoned 2,000 foot tv tower

Mourning the loss of her husband from a mountain climbing accident, Becky (Grace Fulton) is suffering from depression. She’s kept her feet on the ground, hasn’t dared to do anymore climbing and has been busy killing her pain with alcohol. Her friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) can’t take seeing her like this and pushes her to take a trip with her to an abandoned the 2,000 foot B-67 TV tower. There she will get to enjoy the adrenaline rush of climbing and can also scatter her husband’s ashes from the top, something he surely would have loved.

This seems like a leisurely outing where nothing can go wrong – NOT! 

Oh, Becky and Virginia manage to get to the top of this tower, take some some selfies, scatter the ashes and feel proud of themselves, but their exhilaration switches to terror when there are some complications with this rickety tower and they find themselves trapped at the top with no way down.

Fall-2022-Grace-Caroline-Currey-Virginia-Gardner-low-budget-thrillerNo one knows they’re up there, they can’t contact anyone and it’s impossible to climb back down. It’s a stripped down survival ordeal at incredible heights. Will they survive or fall?!?!?

Fall is a $3 million film from Scott Mann (who previously directed the Dave Bautista actioner Final Score). The hook for Fall is a single basic concept – being trapped at an incredible height, building suspense with being at this dizzying height and clinging on for dear life. That’s the nuts and bolts of Fall and it delivers on that tense scenario. 

The film manages to convey the height the characters reach and makes their situation convincing enough that it makes you feel tense at every slip or stumble they make. If you have an aversion to heights, then Fall will certainly do a number on you. That was the consensus reaction from viewers who’ve seen and it is true! It is extremely effective making you share in on the jeopardy of being at the top of this tower. It is very well done!

Fall-2022-Grace-Fulton-suspense-survival-thriller-climb-antenna-towerOf course, there has to be some drama between the two characters while they wait out their stay and make one failed attempt after another at getting back down to Earth. That’s a the weaker part of the film. It’s no surprise when a secret is revealed about Becky’s dead husband. I don’t think it added as much friction between the two friends as they struggle to survive as it’s meant to, at least I didn’t feel an elevated sense of anger and betrayal between the two from then on. 

Fall-2022-Grace-Caroline-Currey-Virginia-Gardner-thriller-tv-tower-antennaWith the film having basically two leads who are meant to hold the screen for its duration, they are really not that compelling a pair of characters. Becky is a quintessential, straight forward, sympathetic ‘average female character’. We’re meant to like her because she is a widow.

She’s also estranged from her father played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a very tiny role. But that’s really all there is to her and she’s not that interesting.

Neither is Hunter. She doesn’t ingratiate herself as a likable character from the start. She’s this thrill-seeking influencer who is constantly on her phone tik-toking to her fans and is annoyingly gung ho. She gets grating very quickly.

She’s the type of character who after spending a few minutes with, when things do go bad for her, you’ll be thinking, “Well, it’s her own fault! She should have known better. That’s what you get when you’re acting so cavalier and careless!”

The two characters are not what you’ll remember after seeing the film. 

Fall-2022-suspense-thriller-suvival-trapped-climbersTrying to save themselves and trying to find solutions to get out of this dilemma, the film starts to stretch things. I’m not an expert on TV towers by any means, but I started to question whether some of the things shown could actually work. Of course the easy solution of using a cell phone has to be taken out of play, so we get the classic ‘The Problem With The Telephone’ cliché that’s a necessity in order to corner our heroines into this high altitude predicament. It’s just their too high up and there’s no signal on their cells!

It’s a tough. You set up this premise and want to make it as believable as possible. So unless the solutions are just as believable, then you’re taken out of the premise and don’t accept the story anymore. So there are points when my eyes narrowed and I was muttering, “I question this….” and the film would lose me. 

I have to say I was disappointed with the end of the film. It comes very abruptly and after logging all those hours with the girls up on the tower, it would have been satisfying to actually see the eventual outcome, rather than a fade out and then the aftermath of it.

But what the heck. It’s a low-budget film, with a very high tower as its gimmick at its center, which it does use it and creates a compelling survival scenario for the most part.

Fall-2022-trapped-climbers-radio-tower-thriller-suspense-survival-movieThe best portions are how the film intensifies the feeling of acrophobia and the characters trying to figure out a way down from this impossible height. The music picks up pace, you watch close up shots of rusty screws, hands gripping ropes, sweaty palms, shaking ladders, feet nearing the edge, vertigo spinning shots looking down from the top of the half mile high antenna. You get what is promised!

And that’s really why you’d be watching this movie and it does a great job exploiting that fear, especially with the small budget they had to make the film. It’s some very impressive and well done filmmaking. Forgive some leaps of logic and some underwhelming twists and Fall will give you some sweaty palms and get you anxious to get your feet back on the ground. It’s not great, but it’s an effective, stripped down little survival film.

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