Fall Review

I wouldn’t say I love Scott Mann’s low budget survival tall tale Fall, but it admirably generates suspense in spurts. This begins in Cliffhanger fashion with a loved one plummeting to their grisly demise. The late great Norm MacDonald had a joke about cliff divers and it applies with climbers. He said there’s two types of participants in such an activity: Grand Champion (because you survived) and “Stuff on a Rock”. Mason Gooding’s Dan is the latter. Wife (Grace Caroline Currey) and best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) witness the tragedy during their mountain ascension attempt.

Nearly a year later, mourning Becky has shutoff contact from friends and family (including concerned dad Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Hunter, meanwhile, is a minor Instagram star (60k followers) who goes by Danger D and treats her viewers to various daring exploits. Her solution to help Becky out of her (often drunken) funk is to recruit her on an adventure. The two will scale a decommissioned 2,000 foot TV tower in the desert and document it. At the top, Dan’s unopened ashes will be scattered.

That doesn’t all go as planned. Fall probably sets the record for number of loose bolt shots in a recent motion picture. While Becky and Danger D get to the top, the rickety and rusted ladder gives out and there’s no way down. The rest of this is devoted to figuring out a way to descend.

At least… most of it is. At 107 minutes, there’s some fat that could’ve been trimmed. There’s extraneous relationship dynamics that don’t add much. This might have been more effective at a leaner 85-90 minutes. For a film that incorporates the 80s hair metal hit “Cherry Pie”, it doesn’t always (ahem) warrant the running time.

When there’s vultures to avoid or operating the drone they brought to be their savior or getting their phones to charge, the survival mechanics of the screenplay can be absorbing. The decently convincing cinematography and commitment of the lead actresses are pluses. The occasional padding courtesy of the script prevents this being a big winner. It’s not stuff on a rock either.

**1/2 (out of four)

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