Fall, the new entry in the thriller subgenre of anxiety-inducing one-shot situations, is like spinning a wheel labeled with people’s greatest fears and landing on acrophobia. The movie will be nerve-wracking for anyone with a fear of heights, but might otherwise be a little boring for someone looking for thrills that go beyond that. Aside from the predicament at the heart of the film, character development and story development aren’t really necessary for movies like Fall, and Fall isn’t particularly successful either. The Lionsgate film tries to set itself apart from similar works with predictable twists and a boring character, but it falls short of the heights its central characters aren’t (and shouldn’t) be afraid of.
Fall centers on Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner), who scale a rock wall with Becky’s husband, Dan, at the start of the film (Mason Gooding). Becky’s favorite activities, pole dancing and free climbing, are left behind as she wallows alone at the bar after Dan’s tragic fall and death. Hunter eventually comes up with a proposal to build a 2,000 foot radio tower. Her main motivation is to capture Becky on the brink on drone video for her 60,000 fans. The ladder falls as Becky and Hunter climb to the top of the defunct tower, leaving them stranded more than half a mile above the desert with no access to water or cell connection.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t change much of the genre. A reveal, which is meant to pack an emotional punch, is announced from the start in a way that will make it clear to astute viewers what’s to come. Even though a different twist is less noticeable, it doesn’t quite work as intended. Where thrillers like these are best served with fast-paced runtimes that don’t allow for much thinking between their obligatory story points, Fall’s nearly two-hour runtime also makes for longer circumstances.