An uninspiring entry into the survival thriller genre

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Like spinning a wheel labeled with people’s greatest fears and landing on acrophobia, the latest entry in the thriller subgenre of anxiety-inducing situations in one place is To fall, a movie that will be torturous for anyone with a fear of heights, but might otherwise be a little boring for someone looking for thrills that go beyond that. movies like To fall don’t require a lot of character work, or a lot of plot beyond the situation at the center of the film and To fall is not gifted. With predictable twists and a gritty character, the Lionsgate movie tries to do something different from the rest, but it can’t quite reach the heights its main characters aren’t (and should) be afraid of.

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To fall follows Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) who, in the opening of the film, scale a rock wall with Becky’s husband, Dan (Mason Gooding). When Dan tragically falls to his death, Becky is sent into a tailspin of grief, abandoning her favorite hobbies of free climbing and pole dancing to wallow alone at the bar. Soon, Hunter shows up with a proposal to scale a 2,000 foot high radio tower. It’s mainly so she can shoot a drone video of Becky hanging from the ledge for her 60,000 subscribers. When Becky and Hunter reach the top of the decommissioned tower, the ladder falls and they are stuck nearly half a mile above the desert with no cell service, no water, and no way to descend.


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When it comes to survival thrillers, To fall follows the playbook set by movies like 47 meters below Where Crawl. As Becky and Hunter look out over the desert around them, To fall offers plenty of reasonably well-rendered visuals, with the desert around them becoming even deadlier at 2,000 feet above the ground. With limited space to move around, it adds a new dimension to claustrophobic thrillers, a dimension that makes the sky as scary as the endless ocean in survival thrillers like The wide.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t add much to the genre itself. A twist that’s meant to land with an emotional punch is telegraphed from the start and in a way that will make what’s to come pretty obvious to avid viewers. Another twist, though less obvious, doesn’t land as well as it should. Falls a nearly two-hour runtime also makes for longer circumstances when thrillers like these are best served with fast-paced runtimes that don’t allow for much thinking between their obligatory plot points.


As Becky and Hunter’s circumstances grow increasingly dire, their rescue efforts become almost laughable. That’s the problem with Falls implement. They can’t do much except stare 2,000 feet in the air as their attempts fail. There is no way for them to get down and no way for them to call for help. They have to rely on foolish attempts to contact those on the ground and when those fail, there’s not much left. While their rescue attempts are fun, nothing is as fun as the film’s incorporation of Becky’s pole dancing skills or her use of Warrant’s song “Cherry Pie” in a biting sequence.


Gardner and Currey do what they can with the material, but Gooding and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (as Becky’s father) are criminally underused, a fault of the film’s setup more than anything else. Sure, the film adds a fresh perspective to the survival thriller genre, but it leans so heavily on the idea that heights are frightening (even if its protagonists don’t think so) that there isn’t much left. beyond that at the end of the film. When To fall concludes, it commits a cardinal sin of the kind that can make audiences scratch their heads.

To fall hits theaters on August 12. The film is 107 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for gory visuals, intense peril, and foul language.


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