Fall is a scary-as-hell film about two women trapped 2,000 feet in the air with no way down. It will cause sweat to roll down and the hair to stand on end from start to finish. Don't let this film escape the movie collection. The new 4K image with HDR looks amazing and the new Dolby Atmos audio presentation sounds fantastic. The few extras, plus the new bonus feature are worth watching too. Highly Recommended!
The stakes are at an all-time high in Scott Mann's new film Fall which takes place 2,000 feet up in the air where two young women find themselves trapped on top of the world's largest radio tower and open to the elements. This little overlooked movie has a ton of thrills, sweat-inducing suspense, and a decent story to round out all the action with some great performances from its two leads and a good cameo from Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film works on multiple levels with its high intensity, but one could only imagine how fast someone's heart would beat watching this in an IMAX theater, let alone in a home setup.
Mann's previous films have shown he knows how to shoot suspenseful action with big-name actors. With Heist and Final Score under his belt, it's nice to see Mann take a much simpler approach but up the thrills high in the sky. There's no Dave Bautista like in his previous two films but Morgan does show up again as his daughter and her estranged best friend who is known for going on crazy vacations similar to the women in The Descent head to an abandoned radio tower which is considered to be the tallest man-made tower in the United States.
This radio tower isn't in tip-top shape and looks like it hasn't been serviced or used in decades. The sandy plains in the middle of nowhere have decayed it a little, but that's not going to stop Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and her best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) from climbing the tower to check that box off their thrill-seeking list. These women are not your stereotypical idiotic backpackers. They come prepared and with knowledge of how to climb and perhaps survive the worst of fates. Their only real hiccup is to actually climb this 2,000-foot tower without telling anyone or notifying anybody about it.
The climb at first seems easy enough sans the whole height issue, but the further the girls get up, the more rickety the structure becomes. They eventually make their way to the top where there is a rusty grate for a floor about the size of a pizza box where they can take their selfies and take in the scenery, which is where the ladder below them falls 2,000 feet to the ground, leaving them trapped and exposed to vultures, wind and weather without anything to hold on to. And being in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal adds to the stress and intensity.
Mann not only uses these scary elements of their physical surroundings for terror but also utilizes a backstory between the estranged friends to draw on some tension and even some inspiration for survival, which works out well here. None of it seems forced but plays out in a natural way, even when some of the action sequences seem a little far-fetched, which comes into play in a big way near the end of the film, which is its M. Night Shyamalan twist. The performances are all stellar from everyone here and the camera techniques used to literally turn your stomach upside down with some insane views from high in the air are just as breathtaking as they are frightening.
Those who may turn their noses up at a film like this will more likely than not greatly appreciate the film even more so once it's revealed that almost the entire film was shot practically with the actors legitimately being high in the air filming their scenes. It's a wild ride, and Fall is one of those films that will cause the blood pressure to skyrocket and cover your eyes.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Fall rises to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital via Lionsgate. The discs are housed inside a glorious steel case with some amazing artwork. There is an insert for a digital code. The artwork features the two characters standing on top of the tower looking down and out at their peril. It's daytime with the sleeve on with a vulture flying around. When the sleeve is lifted, the color palette changes to nighttime. The discs themselves feature both character's silhouettes sitting down in both daytime and nighttime.
Fall comes with a much-improved 2160p UHD 4K transfer with HDR10 that looks amazing. The previous Blu-ray release that was covered here discussed the excessive banding that cropped up throughout the movie
. In this new 4K image, that is completely removed to reveal a crisp, clean image. Much like Mad Max: Fury Road, this movie relies heavily on that blue and orange color palette. With this new HDR10 enhancement, the rust-colored tower and the. background of the vast open desert mixes perfectly with the crystal clear blue sky. Birds and the two character's wardrobes add a bit more pizzazz to the color chart here. The red blood stands out nicely as well. Night-time shots showcase inky black levels and some wonderful darker blue tones.
The detail is allowed to breathe a bit more, especially in those wider shots where the CGI kicks in and reveals those smaller plants and trees in the distance. Closeups showcase facial pores, individual hairs, feathers, practical makeup effects, textures in the costumes, and more. Wider shots never go soft as most of this film was shot practically. Mostly there are no video problems this time out that cropped up on the previous release, making this a fantastic image.
This release also gets an upgraded Dolby Atmos mix that sounds much better than its previous DTS-HD 5.1 option. The soundscape is much heavier and more nuanced with those height speakers that really bring those scary noises to the forefront. Those sound effects are still loud and robust at every angle. But there is a smoother transition between speaker to speaker this time around along with a wider dynamic range.
The score always lifts up the suspense and the dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow. The big difference here is that the low end of the bass has a bigger rumble to it that never crosses into the rocky territory and the height speakers are in use which bring birds, debris, and other wind-chilling sounds to those speakers to make this sound design more immersive than ever before. There are no audio issues to speak of.
There are only about 43 minutes of bonus materials here plus a commentary track from the director and producer. The behind-the-scenes featurette is top-notch and gives a ton of respect for this film and how it was made. There is also a new extra that talks about how well the film is liked over the past couple of years.
Fall is an overlooked film that will surprise many and horrify tons of people with its non-stop thrills that will have everyone covering their eyes and stomachs up in their throats for the duration of the film. The 2160p UHD image looks even better this time around and the Dolby Atmos track sounds incredible. The bonus features may be sparse, but they are definitely worth it, even the new bonus feature that is added. Highly Recommended!