Fall is one of those movies that makes absolutely no sense when you stop to think about it, whilst being entertaining so long as you don’t think about it. My retitling of this climbing-based disaster movie would be “How to Kill Yourself Conquering Your Fear of Climbing When Its Already Killed Your Boyfriend: The Movie”. It perfectly summarises the plot and why you want to shake the main duo into some kind of normal mental state. Alas, we wouldn’t have a movie though. Fall for the fall, not for its logic and you may well enjoy this vertigo-inducing flick.

If you are going to risk your life for a selfie, you deserve everything you get from the Darwin theory.

The disasters faced

Falling to your death, a 2000ft radio tower, lorries, buzzards, the pursuit of the ultimate selfie and the consequences of a terrible lack of a toolkit and a maintenance worker.

The story

Becky and Dan are happily married rock climbers who go on an adventure with their bestie Hunter, only for Dan to fall to his death in a case of “watch where your stick your rope and fastenings”. We flash-forward to the one-year anniversary of his death to find Becky is now a drunk mess and a recluse. Her father, trying to get her to rejoin the world of the living, invites Hunter to stay with Becky, but Hunter has her own views on how to get Becky out of her depression. You see Hunter is one of those awful social media influencers who posts constantly about her dangerous climbs and extreme sports life. Off camera, she’s much nicer thankfully and thinks taking Becky on a climb will cure her of everything.

The climb? A 2,000 ft radio tower – the 4th tallest structure in the USA. It is a rickety metallic spine and looks like a health and safety violation from every angle. Bolts are falling off, ladder steps snap, and ladders are hanging slightly unconnected. As they climb up, everything screams “don’t do this” and Becky is dragged like a lamb to the slaughter by Hunter up the radio tower to reach the summit. There they take selfies, run some drone footage and then scatter Dan’s ashes.

This is not my idea of a good time – and anyone struggling with heights should stop right here!

The stress on the ladders caused by the girls going up the tower breaks the ladder on the way back down leaving them both stranded on the top spire, totally cut off from the world. After much rope swinging and a deep-cut injury for Becky, they manage to find safety back on their perch but now there is no obvious way back down. With no mobile signal, a drone that cannot fly unaided to their hotel over a mile away and a flare gun with only a few rounds, they need to attract people and get them to notice them.

After throwing a shoe down with Hunter’s phone inside doesn’t quite do it, they start to look at more dramatic measures. This involves some leaps of faith to get their drone back from a satellite dish about 100 feet below them which results in Hunter being injured too. For Becky, this is all history repeating itself. In order to try something new, Becky climbs to the beacon light at the top to charge the drone (and her phone) whilst fighting off buzzards who can smell their wounds and fancy dinner. Sadly, the battle for the drone proves fruitless as it gets taken out by a lorry on its flight to their hotel with a note attached.

With options limited, no water to keep them alive and the buzzards waiting for them to sleep, will Becky and Hunter make it off the tower alive?

That ladder does not go all the way to the bottom Hunter…

Why is it worth watching?

The main reason Fall is worth watching is the vertigo-inducing cinematography. Seeing Becky and Hunter swinging around and hanging off ledges from 2,000 ft high looks great. The views from sunset, sunrise and nighttime as the camera circles around the tiny platform are striking. The climbing looks very intensive and both actresses feel like they are really being put through their paces as they swing around.

The secondary element to all of this is the overarching narrative of conquering your fear. The film’s message is that you should “punch fear in the dick” and I like its mantra to a point. The story itself carries a lot of the middle of the film where the two are stuck with nowhere to go, expecting help to come to them. However, instead of focusing on grief, revival and revitalising your life, it throws a Hunter and Dan affair curveball which felt somewhat unnecessary to the movie. I’d have preferred the conversations to be a little more relevant to the story but the scenes of scattering the ashes were well done.

Lastly, so much of this film could end up in the factual goof section of IMDB, I actually enjoyed thinking “I don’t think so” to quite a lot of what happens. This is the movie of foreshadowing plot points and scenes so if you’ve seen it once already, it is going to happen on the tower too.

Some people will go to any lengths to find a charging port…

The effects

As the movie takes place largely 2,000ft up in the air, it’s really tricky to know what “good” greenscreen backgrounds look like. The production actually built a 100ft set for the top of the tower so the actresses had something to play with and that works really well for the panning shots. The buzzards are a fascinating addition and work well too. I was equally impressed with some of the stunt work which certainly looks more practical than expected due to the set being a good 100ft tall.

Interestingly, the film underwent a hidden special effect to use AI to alter the lead duos’ mouths to correct dialogue. The original cut of Fall contained over 30 F-bombs and to get the film down to a PG13 audience, they used AI to edit the mouths to alter the dialogue. I didn’t notice anything specific but seeing deep fake technology entering the film industry does make me ponder how it could be used in the future to correct footage post-release.

Dinner is served my peckish friend.

The characters

Fall is all about Becky and getting her back on the bandwagon of life. She has a proper character arc, buzzard slaughtering included, and comes away from the movie as a woman who seems to have found life again. Hunter is an interesting one because fundamentally she has her heart in the right place but is way too cavalier for her own good with climbing and with her friends. No one else really gets much screen time in the movie although Becky’s father makes a strong caring impression in his few scenes.

Favourite quote

At least you didn’t have to shit.

hunter as becky takes a pee off the top of the radio tower
Nope, nope, nope, nope!

Three memorable moments

  • The moment when the ladder gives way, sending Becky flying off the tower and swinging around on a rope.
  • Becky deciding that the buzzard is for dinner, rather than Becky being the buzzard’s dinner.
  • The visual of the storm passing by from the top of the tower is absolutely beautiful.

The obligatory weird moment

There are quite a few things that can fit in here but let me start off with the incredible life hack of plugging phone chargers into random lamp fittings. I hope this does work in America and I wouldn’t use my wedding ring as a conductor. How no one was electrocuted each time I’ve no idea. Hunter’s tattoo moves about her body and indeed many shots that are meant to show Hunter on the Satellite dish but she’s actually missing from the shot entirely. There is also one goof that really made me go “no” and this is around the drone sub-plot. Becky pilots Hunter’s drone using her phone as they’ve already thrown Hunter’s off the tower to try and alert someone. I’m not sure how she downloaded the app to get the drone to work since the whole issue is they have no phone signal… 2,000ft up in the sky in a non-mountainous area. I’m picking holes, I know I am, but so much of this movie relies on the suspension of belief and physics, it made my eyes roll a few times.

At what point did you download that app Becky?

The drinking game

Every time you think to yourself “why are you doing this girls!” This movie should be shown as a health and safety warning…


Disconnect your brain and Fall becomes quite an enjoyable experience. Well acted, well shot and despite some mid-film pacing issues, quite entertaining with some curveballs to keep you interested in the final act. Just don’t think too much about it.

Rating: 3 / 5 Good

If you enjoyed Fall, you may also like…

  • Meru – an extreme sports documentary about climbing one of the most difficult mountains on Earth.
  • Adrift – a similarly styled film featuring two people this time stranded on a boat in the Ocean.
  • Tunnel – a fantastic Korean thriller charting the survival of someone trapped in a collapsed tunnel on his own.
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I Love Disaster Movies is part of the Higher Plain Network. If you like what I do, and would like to help me make better and more content then please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1 or £1. Thank you.

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