Fall — Strong Foundations, But Doesn’t Hit the Heights It Could.
The latest release to catch my eye in a time of very few interesting films has come in the form of “Fall” — with the trailers looking like it followed the usual formula of the isolated threat genre, I wanted to see what it was about.
The story follows Becky and Hunter, two girls who live for an adrenaline rush, and they get it through extreme climbing. Their latest adventure takes them up a 2000ft abandoned television tower. However when they reach the summit, disaster strikes and they are stranded with no way down. How they deal with the situation is what forms the main plot.
Let’s start with the two leads — Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner who act their socks off here. They have a really great chemistry on screen but they shine in their own respects too.
Grace Caroline Currey as Becky really nails the performance of her character, particularly when displaying signs of trauma and fear as a cause of a rather hard hitting introduction that sets the tone. She acts really well and she sells it , particularly with her eyes. It’s just a shame the writing didn’t match it. While she sells the trauma and side effects superbly, the writing doesn’t support it because after the introduction the events that took place don’t matter a great deal apart from the odd reference later on to progress the story and to pass time.
Virginia Gardner takes a back seat as Hunter but pulls off her role really well as she does play an important part in the story. The two together make a great duo which is exactly what the story needs.
It’s important to note that the main part of the story was shot entirely on a green screen — so when I tell you that they did a really good job of emphasizing the sheer size of this tower, and made you really feel the danger of the moment, that should tell you the film has been made well.
I was pleased with the time they spent actually getting up the tower. This could easily have been a montage to get them up there and get them to the main threat quicker, but they really dragged it out making you feel awkward and uncomfortable at every creak and groan of the rusty metal.
Once they’re up there is when the tension really kicks in. From the moment they’re stranded you’re on the edge of your seat and the film does a really great job at maintaining and extending that tension. The success of films like this really hinge on the level of engagement and it definitely keeps you locked in.
It does take a lot of liberties though. There are moments where you are expected to suspend logic for a bit and just roll with what happens, and it gets away with it because it plays on the tension and it keeps you interested. While the background and the history of these characters don’t provide you any real reason to care about them, the stakes definitely do.
As mentioned earlier, without spoiling too much, the first sequence really felt like a big moment and I was excited to see how it impacted the film but other than a few moments and the odd line of dialogue it didn’t. Again, it took a few liberties and actually used this sequence and the characters only when it was in need of fillers. These didn’t affect the pacing but it did feel like they were evidently trying to fill up screen time.
Finally, I can’t say a lot here but there is a big moment towards the climax of the film which does hit hard and it does catch you off guard but when you really think about it, it’s a cop out. That’s all I can say about it. Yes it worked, but does that mean it was right?
In summary, the film is a good watch despite not treading any new ground with regards to the premise. It’s got great performances, a gripping and tense screenplay, but it takes far too many liberties for it to match the very loft ambitions it comes in with. It’s got strong foundations but doesn’t hit the heights it could have done.
“Fall” is out now in cinemas only.