Fall: “an overshadowing sense of disturbance and fear”

Earlier this month, “Fall” debuted on cinema screens. Directed by Scott Mann, the movie is an anxiety-inducing thriller which explores the journey of two adrenaline junkies who find themselves stuck on top of a 2000 feet radio tower with no way back down. Despite a seemingly straight to the point concept as the title may suggest, the movie in which two girls sit on top of a radio tower for almost two hours manages to oddly keeps us engaged throughout the film. Although you may naturally be questioning the reasoning behind the protagonists’ decisions you cannot help but need to find out how such a situation ends. The answer is horribly, to nobody’s surprise.

The movie opens with central characters Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) who are seen rock climbing up a mountain alongside Becky’s husband Dan (Mason Gooding). Events already go terribly wrong when Dan falls to his death. Becky wallows in her heartbreak and develops an evident unhinged and erratic personality, refusing to listen to her father who attempts to convince her to move forward. This is when we are properly introduced to Hunter, a woman who will do anything it takes to capture a “viral-worthy” moment for social media. Hunter sparks the unexplainable idea to climb up a 2000 feet radio tower in an attempt to get her best friend to conquer her newfound fears, and despite Becky’s obvious trepidations, she agrees. 

(Photo fetched from Variety)

So, they climb, creating a never-ending feeling of dread as the possibility of death is worryingly too high. Viewers witness bolts begin to fall from the flimsy ladder attached to the side of the tower, all while Hunter excitedly encourages Becky to keep on going. Somehow, they make it, but we have no time to breathe a sigh of relief as Hunter yearns for her online glory, flailing off the edge of the tower one-handed and unbelievably convincing Becky to do the same. 

Amid these insane stunts, they fail to notice the ladder had collapsed during their journey upwards. When they do realise, panic strikes, within both Becky and the viewers. While Hunter remains foolishly convinced that somebody must have heard the ladder fall and will be on their way to rescue them, despite her not hearing the ladder fall herself.

They wait, but no help arrives. Their next idea is to utilise Hunter’s followers to come to save them by flinging her phone inside a shoe to the ground in hopes that it catches the signal to send out a message. Turns out that a mere shoe isn’t quite enough to protect a phone from a 2000 feet drop. 

Just when life for Becky and Hunter seemingly couldn’t get any worse, it does. Becky discovers that Dan was having a secret affair with none other than her best friend, Hunter. All Becky desires is to run away, yet there she is stuck right beside her with no way out. Despite the animosity in the air, they are all each other currently has, they must rely upon one another. 

We begin to see the desperation in the protagonists’ catapult, especially through their withering appearances and declining energy levels. The film’s production quality is highly applaudable as we truly feel teleported thousands of feet into the air ourselves, we feel the slow deterioration of the girls, and we feel the inevitable tragedy that is incoming. 

Hunter bravely attempts to regain access to her bag that was dropped onto a communications dish. She somehow manages this, obtaining their water and a drone. This leads to further failed attempts at securing their rescue, such as trying to fly the drone to the nearby motel with a note inside, which ultimately crashes into a van. The girls are entirely hopeless, that is until Becky has the idea to drop her phone instead, all she needs is Hunter’s other shoe for protection, maybe it’ll work this time! Except, there is no other shoe, as there is no Hunter. 

(Photo fetched from Roger Erbert)

Hunter died when attempting to get the bag from down below, while Becky has been hallucinating her existence ever since. This plot twist was utterly unexpected and left viewers in disbelief. We truly cannot imagine that Becky can make it out of this situation alive, especially alone.

Unbelievably, she does. After regaining energy by eating a vulture she overpowered, she climbs down beside Hunter’s dead body on the communication disk. Then, the scene which I find the most distressing strikes. Becky stuffs her phone into Hunter’s corpse and drops her, which manages to then connect to a signal to send a message to her father. Despite being completely disturbing, it shows the lengths human beings will go to for survival. 

Becky is rescued, and while we are finally at peace, we are still left with an overshadowing sense of disturbance and fear that the movie has instilled into us. Overall, “Fall” is a well-crafted thriller that 

leaves viewers hooked for its entirety. While you may find yourself frustrated with the character’s actions you cannot help but continue watching, through its drama, disgust, and disaster.

Written by Natasha Turnbull

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