To fall is promoted as “producers of 47 meters below“, which is a smart move for two films that could be sisters – or a future cult classic double feature. Both films follow a pair of deeply bonded women who must stick together to survive an extreme sports journey that fatally derailed. 47 meters below plunged the public into shark-infested waters, To fall perches us atop a ramshackle radio tower, where vultures and gravity itself threaten to destroy our brave heroines. But there is something more twisted that connects these two films. So, let’s get to the spoilers.
To fall follows recently widowed Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and her best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner) as they scale a 2,000 foot pole to scatter the ashes of Becky’s late husband. Inevitably, disaster strikes, leaving the women trapped atop the tower on a creaking platform with no food, no water, no means of descending, and no cell reception to call for help. Then, with emotions already boiling, Hunter makes the shattering claim that she cheated on Becky’s beau before he bit him in a deadly climb gone wrong a year ago. There’s a chance that these two fighting friends will come together to survive, but even though it looks like they might get there after all, the film holds one final horrific surprise: one is actually already dead.
How did Hunter die?
1 credit: Lionsgate
Hunter’s dirty secret of infidelity is exposed, stinking that rig worse than Becky’s festering leg wound. 24 hours have passed since they tried to drop Hunter’s phone in a shoe with a distress message in hopes that he might pick up cell reception at the base of the tower. They assume his 60,000 social media followers didn’t get the call to action, and the phone is shattered into useless pieces below.
Thirsty, hungry and exhausted, they grow weaker hour by hour. So desperate times call for desperate measures: Hunter descends the piece of rope they have to retrieve the backpack Becky accidentally dropped on a flush satellite dish. Almost immediately, Hunter and his one remaining red sneaker scramble to grab the post. Valiantly or foolishly, she unties herself from the safety rope and makes a risky leap towards the flat. With some “good MacGyver shit”, she ties the backpack to the rope, where Becky can hoist it. But how to revive Hunter?
‘Fall’ review: Vultures (and gravity) are the sharks of the sky in a tense thriller
What To fall shows the two friends overcoming their differences and broken hearts to literally come together to get Hunter to safety. But like 47 meters below (Where Adrift or a certain cut of Lowering), this thriller secretly shifts into the unreal. Hunter did not survive this ascent. She fell on this disc-shaped antenna and died.
Hunter and Becky switch roles.
1 credit: Lionsgate
After the backpack retrieval sequence, several clues show that all is not as it seems. For example, Hunter disappears from the platform at night. Becky wakes up and screams for her. The vultures swarm in the dark, fearfully before revealing Hunter’s bloody corpse on the platform. But Becky wakes up again and Hunter is sitting next to her. Death appears to be another of Becky’s horrific nightmares, which has tormented her ever since her husband plunged into his death.
A bigger clue is how drastically Hunter changes. Initially, Hunter is the risk taker of the two. She came up with that radio tower stunt, was the first up the ladder, took the desperate descent, and made the terrifying jump for the backpack. But once she joins Becky on the platform, she’s the most cautious and level-headed. Hunter advises returning the low-battery drone rather than losing it. She warns Becky to eat, rest, and drink the hard-earned water from the salvaged backpack, but Hunter never sleeps or takes another sip himself. The first time watching To fallyou might think Hunter is sacrificing himself for his friend as a reward for her betrayal, but guilt doesn’t equal superhuman stamina.
Then there’s that final climb, where Becky has to be the one to crawl the final stretch of the tower to charge the drone. Hunter claims she can’t because her hands hurt from the rope climb, but really, she’s providing moral support through mechanical counseling or singing Warrant’s “She’s My Cherry Pie.” , Hunter is only there in Becky’s mind…or maybe in her mind?
Hunter’s life hack saves Becky.
1 credit: Lionsgate
Becky’s husband and her best friend cheated together, the discovery of which adds another layer to Becky’s misery. But in the end, it was their gifts that saved her. The life hack that Hunter taught Becky at the restaurant – sticking the pins of a charging plug into a lamp socket – is how she charges the drone. She uses her wedding ring – a painful reminder of her late husband, compounded by the new knowledge of his deception – to complete the circuit.
Let’s talk about “resurrection”, because this ending requires full spoilers
Of course, you could also say that if not for Hunter and her husband, Becky wouldn’t be stuck there in the first place.
Was Hunter a ghost or Becky’s delusion?
1 credit: Lionsgate
In 47 meters belowThere’s a scientific explanation for why one sister firmly believed the other had saved her: Nitrogen narcosis causes hallucinations. To fall doesn’t offer a concrete explanation, although some climbers report hallucinations at high altitudes, but there’s a clue you might have missed.
While waiting for the perfect moment to fly her SOS note by drone to the motel, Becky quickly fades away. Hunter doesn’t reach out to hold her steady on the platform. Instead, she asks him to talk about wrestling, something Becky and her dad love. When Becky hesitates over a wrestler’s name, Hunter coldly provides it. Becky said softly, “Wait, I thought you said you didn’t watch it.” Hunter replies, “I didn’t.” So how did she know the name? Because she’s not Hunter. She’s the imaginary friend Becky needs right now – someone who encourages her, pushes her forward, keeps her hopeful and always by her side.
Hunter’s final gift was his body.
1 credit: Lionsgate
In a cruel callback to the first act, the recharged drone flies to the motel with its SOS note then – boom – gets run over by a truck, like Hunter and Becky almost did when they first pulled out of the parking lot in the first act.
There is only one option left: try one more time to send a message by dropping a phone on the ground, where there is a signal. A sneaker with a padded bra wasn’t enough to cushion the blow the first time around, but as Becky offers to try again with Hunter’s remaining red sneaker, reality crumbles when Hunter explains that her shoe is “there- down”.
“I’m over there, remember? Hunter said, turning his head and revealing a bloody head wound. In a flashback, we see what really happened during Hunter’s MacGyver moment. “I bled,” she said dryly, before groaning, “You didn’t really think your skinny ass could pull me up, did you?”
She’s over there, on the microwave antenna, her head bleeding. His eyes wide and empty. Its belly opened by the brutal beaks of the vultures. All that’s left to do is for Becky to crawl out and send one last message. To make sure the phone isn’t crushed on impact, she sends it safely locked inside her best friend’s corpse. That’s to say, after she strangles a vulture and eats its raw meat for sustenance and revenge.
Some things about To fall are pretty predictable, but we bet you didn’t see it coming. And kudos to Becky, who has the prowess of an exotic dancer and the fighting spirit of a professional wrestler; his last bid for salvage work. In the end, she is back on earth, alive and cradled in the loving arms of her burly father. It’s such a happy ending To fall was ever going to fall.
To fall is now in theaters.