Fall Review: A wildly effective survival thriller that delivers edge-of-the-seat suspense | suspense novels

PJordan Peele’s Irregular Summer Hit Title Re-Release Debates Nope were resolved last month when secret writer-director revealed no, it was not an acronym for “not from planet earth” but something much simpler. It was, as others expected, a nod to what many audiences are used to wearily yelling at the screen during a horror movie. Investigate that haunting sound coming from a dimly lit basement in a remote home late at night? Nope! Accept being given a ride by a creepy stranger in a blood-spattered van? Nope! Climb an old, abandoned 2,000-foot radio tower without support, food, or alerting someone else first? Nope!

With the release of the ridiculous but undeniably chilling new thriller Fall, moviegoers across the US will be hearing it on loop this weekend, first said with rolling eyes before being yelled through sweat-soaked fingers. Based on a setup so stupid that it takes some muscle to get through the first 15 minutes without checking, the noise-free August surprise manages to erase all initial doubts with enough genuine edge-of-the-seat suspense to make it the most exciting and effectively agonizing summer action movie I found it hard not to clap silently as I watched this low-budget underdog swoop and climb to the top of the tower; Mavericks, Thors and Gray Men falling at full speed.

Becky (Grace Fulton) suffers a devastating loss when her husband Dan (Mason Gooding) falls to his death in a climbing accident, and she and her best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) have to pick up the pieces. A year later, Becky is drowning her sorrows when Hunter, now a successful YouTuber specializing in extreme stunts, calls out to her and saves her from the brink. The estranged pair is reunited when Hunter suggests he join her on a daring ascent to the top of a 2,000-foot tower in the middle of the desert. Driven by a vague idea of ​​facing fear, she says yes. But when they reach the top, disaster strikes, the ladder falls and they are stranded.

It’s all incredibly ridiculous and while the script isn’t equipped to find a believable justification for why someone trying to overcome such a horrible trauma would want to do something so deranged, none of it really matters once we’re halfway there. (a point that we chillingly remember is the height of the Eiffel Tower). While the suspicious green screen in the cold open had me worried, despite a surprisingly Under a $3 million budget, British director Scott Mann manages to make sky-high danger feel terrifying, real stomach-churning, and pacing permitting, it’d be tempting for Google to know how they pulled it off. all while watching. Despite the obvious VFX work (even Tom Cruise would reject such a gimmick), the seams are so hard to spot and the illusion so cleverly conjured that I found myself totally and horribly immersed in the silly extravaganza of it all. Spanish cinematographer MacGregor and a visual effects team from A-game use the structure’s perspective to staggering, dizzying effect and even find time for some pretty amazing stand-alone visuals, briefly transforming a B-movie into something oddly clever.

Stupidity might have brought the pair over the top, but their actions, once situated, well-founded and satisfyingly competent, Mann and co-writer Jonathan Frank find an impressive amount of mileage from two people trapped in a small grid with a small bag. It’s a puzzle for them to solve and like the best survival movies it has us all trying to figure it out at the same time, could it or would it do that or what if the questions fit neatly amongst the constant stream of nopes? There are two silly, spin-off twists, the first incredibly easy to spot and the second incredibly easy to annoy, but it’s mostly a fairly straight-forward against all odds thriller, kind of a throwback with some slight nu-tech tweaks (who? Did you know a selfie stick could be such a vital emergency tool?). The tension of all this is heightened further with two totally committed performances from little-known actors who give it their all, doing their best admirably to sell some laughably silly dialogue during a physically grueling vertical obstacle course (Gardner emerges as the real standout, possessing the effervescence of a young Reese Witherspoon).

Fall is the weird “what if?” of three drinks. Elevator pitch that somehow survived the journey to the big screen, done with unusual precision and punch. Director Mann sets his sights low even as his simple, robust film climbs very, very high, and in doing so, delivers in a way very few have this year, a $3 million embarrassment for studios to throw a hundred times over. more on blockbusters with a hundred times less of a thrill factor. Arriving in the dog days of summer, it’s something of a wonder.

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