The Reel Review


A mountain climber mourning the anniversary of her husband’s tragic death reluctantly joins her vlogger/best friend to illegally scale the fourth highest structure in the U.S. – an abandoned, 2000-foot-tall TV tower in California’s Mojave Desert. An accident strands them at the top, in this pulse-pounding thriller.

Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner in Fall.

An ominous score blended with creaky close-ups of rickety metal ladders, rusted bolts and frayed cables builds the dizzying tension in this nerve-wracking thriller where things just keep getting more fantastically awful for the two stranded climbers, played by Grace Caroline Currey (Shazam!, Annabelle Creation) and Virginia Gardner (Halloween 2018, Project Almanac). Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) makes a couple of brief appearances as the protagonist’s father.

Virginia Gardner and Grace Caroline Currey in Fall.

Director Scott Mann, in a script co-written with Jonathan Frank, milks as much drama as possible out of his very simple premise, despite a few awkward lags in pacing and a couple of eye-rollingly silly moments – one in particular involving a hungry buzzard. ????

Grace Caroline Currey in Fall.

Nevermind that the duo makes the unlikely rookie adventurer mistake of not really telling anyone beforehand where they are going or that towers such as these have security to ward off wannabe climbers and base jumpers. A grim twist in the third act makes some sense of its more wildly improbable events, giving a clever jolt to this harrowing, entertaining story of teamwork, problem solving and never quitting in the face of seemingly impossible odds.


The view from the KXTV/KOVR tower in Walnut Grove, California.

• The tower in the film is based on the 2049-foot KXTV/KOVR radio tower, also known as the Sacramento Joint Venture Tower in Walnut Grove, California. It is the world’s 6th tallest structure.

• The top 100 feet of the tower in the film was recreated atop a nearby mountain to give wide shots the appearance of being 2000 feet up.

• When Lionsgate picked up the distribution rights for Fall, it used artificial intelligence to visually edit out the film’s more than 30 F-bombs and score a more box office friendly PG-13 rating.


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