One of my biggest fears is falling from great heights. That said; I would never skydive, or do any kind of BASE jumping. I am also not a fan of roller coasters. I can handle tremendous heights from tall buildings that have a solid structure. However, I do not have the type of personality that enjoys thrill experiences of the above sorts. Though Fall has its occasional presentation flaws, I can honestly say that this movie works tremendously on several levels that often left me utter astonishment and, to put it frankly, had my sweating in my seat. I believe that even people who enjoy such activities will be unable to deny the impact that the movie works on some of the more basics of human fears.
The story follows the life of a young lady named Becky (Grace Caroline Currey), who, at the beginning of the film, challenges her fears of heights by participating in a treacherous mountain climb with her husband (Mason Gooding) and her best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner). Sadly, this particular challenge ends with the untimely tragic death of her husband. Afterward, Becky struggles with both the mourning of the loss of partner and the fact that she never overcame her fear. Her entire life has been totally derailed by this tragedy, and Becky cannot seem to recover, despite the positive support she receives from Hunter and her father James (Jeffery Dean Morgan).
Becky’s friend Hunter, who spends most of her life and time seeking out these crazy challenges as an online influencer, decides that she should include Becky on her latest stunt. Hunter manages to convince Becky to join her, as she plans to climb a 2,000 foot radio tower in a very remote location. Given her late husband’s penchant for this type of thrill-seeking, Becky agrees to participate, if she and Hunter can release the spouse’s ashes once they reach the top. Though the climb to the top is quite frightening, the two ladies achieve their goal. However, returning to the ground proves to be the challenge of a lifetime, as the ladder that got them there falls to the ground, leaving them stranded at the top.
Written and directed by Scott Mann, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jonathan Frank, Fall is one of the most stressful movies I have seen in a while. The story setup and character development is quite solid and steady, and the scenarios play out very realistically. The limitations of the budget do occasionally have a negative effect on the overall experience, as some of the green screen effects look very bad in a few scenes. However, during the movie’s most important moments, Fall works superbly, as both the writing and the performances of the lead actors work their wonders in succeeding the movie’s goals.
And it is the performances of actors Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner that help make this movie feel genuine and real. Their emotions and responses to the challenges they face come across as authentic and credible. The events that play out on top of the tower could possibly be adapted to a riveting and powerful play. This is where the direction, writing, and acting come together so beautifully.
Unfortunately, this movie was not offered to me (or other Austin critics) via a screening, but as an online screener. I feel this is the type of film that deserves to be experienced on the big screen. Regardless of this limitation, I still found myself enthralled by the events that played out before me. And that is a testament to how strong Fall is.