“Fall” (2022) takes Becky (Grace Fulton) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) on a fateful climb up a tall tower, where they get stuck. The film will show how they overcome the fear of death and make it down alive. However, like any other survival thriller, this too will have an emotional arc to it to provide it with an “effective base” (for lack of a better pun). Let us break down the trailer.
Becky and Dan (Mason Gooding), lovers and rock-climbing partners, are climbing a big rock when Dan falls and loses his life. This affects Becky deeply, and she gives up her hobby. A year passes by like this when one day, her friend Hunter turns up at her door. She wants Becky to join her in climbing the B-67 TV tower, which is really high for a TV tower. After reflecting a lot, Becky decides to go for it, realizing that she has to move on in life and face her fears. But fate has something else in store for her as well as her friend.
Hunter has made it to the platform at the top of the tower. But when Becky is about to reach it, one of the screws of the portion of the ladder she is on, that has acquired a lot of rust, gives way and sends her free-falling meters down. She, however, manages to pull herself to the platform and reach Hunter. But now, there is no way for them to access the ladder and go down. With only 50 ft. of rope and a bag of eatables that now hangs in mid-air below them, Fall shows how the two ladies survive, if at all.
A Tower Isn’t Natural
We have seen many survival thrillers in the past, the most common of them being underwater, with people stuck around sharks and crocodiles. (Two of the producers of Fall, Mark Lane and James Harris, also produced the 47 Meters Down movies.) We have also seen survival films set in the mountains. And then there is “127 hours” (watch it if you haven’t). But Fall is certainly new as it is set on top of a high tower, a man-made marvel, unlike the other films where it is man against forces of nature, like water, mountains, or valleys. So it adds a certain newness to the survival thriller genre and is surely worth a watch.
The Hope Motif
There is a line in the trailer that Becky quotes from his partner Dan. “If you’re scared of dying, don’t be afraid to live.” This line acts as a seed of hope for Becky to hold on to and not give up. This is something we have already seen in other survival films that show how it is life that gives us strength to come out of dire situations. The people we love, the memories we have made, and the moments we cherish; all of these give us strength. “Fall,” too, will use this motif. But it is also important to have hard-hitting, life-threatening scenarios to make the motif of strength hit the spot. What remains to be seen is how Fall uses the motif and whether it is able to bring the two girls out of their situation.
In terms of the action, what we can expect is the fear of heights to take a whole new form. We know that the film will use CGI to show the two girls stuck on a high tower. So the suspension of disbelief has already started to work. It is rated PG-13, but it remains to be seen how well the film can pull off the rating. It is up to director Scott Mann to execute it properly to not let the viewers lose all sense of the fear of heights, which is necessary for the film to have its intended effect. A film that nailed this is 2015’s The Walk. But rather than comparing “Fall” with a film of a much higher budget, let us wait and see if it delivers on its promise.
“Fall” is a 2022 survival thriller directed by Scott Mann. It stars Grace Fulton, Virginia Gardner, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It will be released on August 12.