THE FREE FALL (2021) Reviews and overview

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The Free Fall is a 2021 American horror film about a young woman’s struggles with her husband after she attempted to take her own life.

Directed by Adam Stilwell (The Triangle) from a screenplay written by Kent Harper (Surveillance). Produced by David Blair, Sean E. DeMott, Gill Gayle, Kent Harper, Paul Holbrook and Patrick Rizzotti.

The soundtrack score was composed by Joseph Bishara (MalignantThe UnholyDreamkatcherInsidious franchise; AnnabelleThe Convent).

The Crossroad Productions-Execution Style Entertainment-Hlbrk Ent co-production stars Andrea Londo, Shawn Ashmore, Jane Badler, Michael Berry Jr., Elizabeth Cappuccino and Dominic Hoffman.

Review:
Slyly – and surely self-consciously – overstuffed with gaslighting clichés and a certain amount of repetition, The Free Fall is nonetheless well-acted by a cast that seems to be revelling in the psychological games onscreen.

Sumptuously executed – especially a confrontational and mildly gruesome garden scene that will surely amuse – it’s a throwback dark delight that horror fans should enjoy despite the over-familiarity of the macabre material. How well viewers will enjoy the inevitable twist will be down to their personal taste. Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“There are many films that are defined by their final moments. For better and worse, The Free Fall may end up being one such movie. The writing does a good job of dropping hints but the story can become too chaotic. It is a smart twist, but ultimately lacks the impact it should have.” AIPT

“The claustrophobia of confinement, both physical and mental, is captured beautifully in director Adam Stilwell depiction of patriarchal control. Londo and Ashmore do a great job as the (un)happy couple, but at times it feels a little unfocussed. That being said, The Free Fall does a lot of things well and creates a chilling atmosphere around its internal puzzle.” Backseat Mafia

“There are chances taken in The Free Fall which you will either accept and go along with or it could derail the experience for you. There are breadcrumbs to larger plot points throughout […] The Free Fall however, is stylishly shot with a bombastic and thunderous score which only adds to its haunting motifs. A serviceable and creepy feature.” Bloody Flicks

“This movie has lived rent-free in my head since the credits rolled. I keep thinking about nods to other horror movies, the bits of foreshadowing that could only give glimpses of the much larger picture awaiting us when things turn toward the end. This film is art.” Dread Central

” …the material is weak enough that the actors can only do so much. The visual effects are also rather weak, but it is understandable under budget constraints. It is unfair to ask more from the movie in that regard.” Fiction Horizon

“If you enjoy a good horror mystery that feels both familiar and fresh, then be sure to check out The Free Fall. Also, this horror movie manages to create that creepy vibe and a few well-timed scares, so there are plenty of reasons to give it a shot.” Heaven of Horror

“A psychological thriller with heapings of gaslighting and horror, The Free Fall manages the impressive feat of tricking the audience into thinking it is one thing before revealing itself to be something more. The exciting nature of this shift makes any earlier niggles fade into the background, and whilst still not perfect, The Free Fall has a lot of good going for it.” The Hollywood News

“Whilst it has some eye-catching scenes […] The Free Fall lacks enough substance to sink your teeth into and left me disconnected from the story due to a lack of development of the characters […] Depending on how many horror movies you’ve watched, you may either be pleasantly surprised by The Free Fall or you’ll have seen it all before and be left wanting that bit more.” Horror Cult Films

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“There are certain storylines and characters that need to be built up, but scenes get dragged out, or seem unnecessary, while the dialogue between some characters falls completely flat […] The Free Fall has some solid performances, visuals, and tension, with the feeling of dread making this a satisfying viewing experience.” Horror Geek Life

The Free Fall is a lush production, an absolute feast for the eyes, amplified by Londo’s classic beauty. The style seems to combine early noir (even with a character obviously modeled on Mrs Danvers) with seventies giallo: polished sophistication with sudden brutality. Like both of those thriller subgenres, the full picture is not clear until close to the end, and I defy anyone to put the pieces together before the writer (Kent Harper) is ready.” Horror Obsessive

“Ashmore plays Nick with a manic sense of glee, playing opposite Londo, who holds her own quite well. The Free Fall may truly be more thriller than pure nail-biting horror; however, it is effective in nearly every facet. A creepy, cyclical ending, coupled with a few shocking twists, make the rewatch factor rather high.” Josh at the Movies

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“Most of this, obviously, is a lot of wheel-spinning in order to delay and obfuscate the truth of Sara’s situation. On one hand, that doesn’t matter, because The Free Fall is so effective in generating a cryptic atmosphere. On the other, the inherently repetitive nature of all this isn’t quite worth the anticlimactic and generic payoff.” Mark Reviews Movies

“[The] dinner party sees The Free Fall descend into just that. A free fall of madness and oddity, one that elevates the film from typical psychological horror, following a myriad of tropes and cliches we’ve seen before, into something altogether different and altogether more terrifying. Yet oftentimes still we don’t know what’s real – it’s a brilliant quandary, ramping up the suspense and really driving The Free Fall forward.” Nerdly

” …although The Free Fall does, in the end, settle on an ingenious explanation for Sara’s housebound experiences, reverse-engineering a familiar genre scenario from the inside out, this family home is nonetheless built on mixed foundations, and remains open and accommodating to more than one interpretation, both supernatural and psychological.” Projected Figures

” …sinfully delicious elegance and menace lurking within luxury. The final reveal is a shocker that somehow feels inevitable and will likely prove rewarding on rewatch. Though The Free Fall keeps most of its secrets close to the vest, it’s a haunting and relentless journey through a beautiful nightmare that you’ll want to return to.” Rue Morgue

Release date:

In the United States, The Free Fall is released by Gravitas Ventures On-Demand on January 14th 2022.

Filming locations:
California

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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