Fall

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Lionsgate;
Thriller;
Box Office $7.24 million;
$29.96 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for bloody images, intense peril, and strong language.
Stars Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner, Mason Gooding, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

It may not be the most innovative film in terms of storytelling, but Fall definitely earns points for an intriguing central plot device that just can’t help but be unnerving.

The story involves a young woman named Hunter (Virginia Gardner), who is a bit of an adrenaline junkie convincing, her best friend Becky (Grace Carlone Currey) to join her in climbing an abandoned steel antenna tower in the middle of the desert. Hunter and Becky used to be avid climbers together, but Becky hasn’t gotten out much since her husband died in an accident a year earlier.

The tower being old and rusted, the only ladder to the top collapses as soon as the girls make it up, leaving them stranded on a tiny platform 2,000 feet in the air with no way to get down, and no cell phone signal to call for help.

The solutions they can try are thwarted by a series of unfortunate events, such as a pair of campers who spot them deciding to steal their car rather than go for help.

With time running out, gravity a constant threat, and swarming vultures awaiting their inevitable fate, the girls must confront both their fears and some personal demons if they hope to survive.

It’s not the most sophisticated plot, and anyone who has seen enough of these films is going to recognize elements that are well known from other movies, starting with an opening scene that is very similar to that of another climbing movie, Vertical Limit. Heck, the premise itself is just an “Open Water” movie set on a tower. But the film does its job well, maintaining viewer interest in the characters while keeping viewers uncomfortably on the edge of their seats.

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The Blu-ray includes a good 15-minute making-of featurette that shows a lot of the challenges of filming in the desert, such as heat and bugs, but also how modern visual effects and editing made the low-budget production easier to pull off during COVID, such as avoiding reshoots to adjust the swearing in the film to bring it a rating that would make it more accessible to a wider audience.

A good commentary from producer-co-writer-director Scott Mann and producer James Harris delves into more details about some of the guerilla filmmaking techniques used, such as buying equipment from Best Buy only to return it when the production was done with it.

Other extras include the film’s trailer, and a music video for the song “I Have Never Felt More Alive” by Madison Beer, though it’s just clips from the movie with superimposed song lyrics.

‘Halloween’ to Stalk Digital Dec. 28, Disc Jan. 15 From Universal

Halloween, the latest sequel to the horror franchise, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 28 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Jan. 15 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $158.8 million in theaters.

The film takes place four decades after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, reprising her role in the 1978 John Carpenter classic) narrowly escaped the masked Michael Myers’ brutal killing spree. She now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she’s spent decades preparing for Michael’s potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family — but this time, she’s ready for him.

The film also stars Judy Greer (Ant-Man and The WaspJurassic World), Andi Matichak (“Underground”), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Punisher) and Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac, “Runaways”).

Bonus features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include deleted and extended scenes and the featurettes “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween,” “The Original Scream Queen,” “The Sound of Fear,” “Journey of the Mask” and “The Legacy of Halloween.”

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.