Traumatised from witnessing the horrific death of her parents, Sara attempts to take her own life. Waking up in the aftermath of this, she cannot remember anything and does her best to manage in a reality she cannot trust – truth distorted by strange dreams, and maybe even deliberate lies.
The Free Fall is trying to do a lot of things at once, and comes across as an inchoherent mess at times due to this. By trying to be everything at once it does little to stand out, a filmic example for “Jack of all trades, master of none”. There are a few familiar faces among the cast here, actors you will recognise from other movies. All of them doing their best with pretty thin material, as everything going on in The Free Fall is pretty mild stuff not helped by there being too many ideas with not enough focus given to any one of them. This is with one outstanding exception which may well mean some people just should not watch The Free Fall: the self-harm scenes are pretty effective and regularly repeated. If you have any issue with the depiction of attempted suicide, you should leave this one well alone.
The scares here are like the rest of the varied plot threads which will pass you by, they’re pretty tame with a low impact. Depending on your interpretation of what’s going on they’re pretty much all fake-outs too, which is going to switch off some viewers. What’s on offer just isn’t that new for the most part, experienced horror fans especially are going to feel underwhelmed a lot of the time. They do at least eventually try a few different things, mostly towards the end, even if they can feel more miss than hit.
There are, however, some other things going on by the time you hit the third act and finale. The extra context does help the otherwise meandering tone leading up to it in hindsight as well. There’s a kernel of a fresh take on some genre staple ideas, which leaves everything a little more disappointing as they didn’t manage to develop it more. These ideas are still there to be enjoyed, with the caveat The Free Fall is only teasing good concepts it won’t spend enough time on.
Ultimately, The Free Fall just doesn’t go deep enough. None of its ideas really get enough time to be developed to a satisfying level, there’s even an end credits scene to muddy the waters of how it appeared to be resolving in the final scenes. Outside of the attempted suicide, which is graphic and pretty effective horror, none of the imagery is really extreme enough to elevate the content as something special. However, there’s definitely something to this one despite these shortfalls, it’s the kind of movie that’s good for watching as a group of friends and then discussing afterwards. Less experienced genre fans should take away more here, too, as if these ideas are new to you they should stand out more. It really could have done with a bigger budget and an expanded team to get these ideas across in a wilder way. As it stands with what we get, there’s a fair chance of being left disappointed.
We watched The Free Fall as part of our Grimmfest coverage.
Luke Greensmith is an Editor at the Grimoire of Horror and an active folklorist as well as working in film across a few roles. While this can cover quite a wide range of things, he’s a dedicated horror fan at heart and pretty involved with horror communities both online and local to him. You can find their folklore work on the Ghost Story Guys Podcast, their own LukeLore podcast, and accompanying the artist Wanda Fraser’s Dark Arts series as well as on the Grimoire of Horror itself.