‘Fall’ (2022) Review: A Battle Between Humans and Vultures Barely Holds a Grip
Scott Man’s Fall follows two adventure buddies trapped on top of a 2,000-metre tower and the lengths they go through to survive the absurd nightmare. The movie shows the emotional stakes of the two young women and the thrilling tension that follows the climb that suspends them in the air. In the remote stretch of the desert, Mann presents the dangers of the vast emptiness and warning signs in the area, such as vultures eating a carcass. Fall plays into the audience’s fear of acrophobia, but maintains an emotional backstory that perhaps saves the movie.
The movie begins with Becky’s (Grace Caroline Currey) husband, Dan (Mason Gooding) falling to his death in a climbing accident. One year later, Becky is still mourning the death of her husband by drowning herself in alcohol. Her father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) wants her to find another purpose in life without clinging to her husband’s cremated remains. Becky’s best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner), a famous YouTuber who does extreme stunts, reunites to climb a 2000-metre tower in the middle of the desert. Becky is reluctant, but she gives in when she realises that this would be a good opportunity for her to confront her fears. As the two young women climb to the top of the rusted tower, the ladder falls off and they are stuck.
Everything about Fall has an absurd justification, but perhaps the problem with their reason to climb is not conveyed enough in the script properly. The truth is, there is no sane person who would climb a 2000-metre tower, even if it meant confronting their fears. Becky’s trauma of losing her husband matters, but how the movie handles going through it is horrific and deranged. This movie is not a poignant drama, but it has an emotional backstory that doesn’t feel like it deserves the space in the absurd athletic movie.
But beyond the decision to climb the tower, Becky and Hunter have a great bond between them. The movie shows them figuring out how to climb down by using a flare gun or putting their phone inside a shoe and throwing it down to the ground in an attempt to send word of them being stranded on top of the tower. At one point, their friendship is tested. When Hunter’s feelings towards Dan’s death are brought up, secrets come out to shake the foundation of their friendship to create tension. The problem is that, even when their bond is strong at the beginning and shaky later, there isn’t a sense of togetherness between them. For the most part, it’s Hunter who wants to climb the tower and move on from Dan’s death. She is only doing this for herself, and Becky’s reluctance to climb the tower is ignored repeatedly.
Fall’s biggest villain might not be the tower but the vultures that circle Becky and Hunter. With no equipment, or phones, and the failure of attempting to call for help, they are both left to battle the vultures. While Mann sets high expectations in this movie, it barely holds the grip on the narrative structure. A battle between humans and vultures is probably the second most exciting scene, and there is nothing else that is worthy. Some viewers might find the twist at the end of the third act surprising, but it all comes down to the unusual and absurd reason that finds it difficult to come to terms with this nightmare climb.