Boy that was a weird watch…
That is the best way to describe The Free Fall: weird. You think it’s going to go one way for most of it, but by the end, it becomes so surreal and insane, you almost start to question whether a different and more interesting movie started. The film’s plot revolves around Sara, who awakens from a coma following an apparent suicide attempt and has re-entered a life she no longer remembers, including a husband who’s incredibly desperate to keep her safe and make sure she doesn’t leave the house. As she attempts to piece back together the series of events that led to her suicide attempt/coma, her concept of reality becomes incredibly blurry, almost to the point where she begins to question what’s real anymore, eventually leading to a very supernatural-inflected climax.
Regardless of what you may think of that, the film immediately shocks its audience right from the get-go with a particularly gruesome sequence, but after that, we are treated to a slow-burn drama that makes the pacing feel incredibly limp and sluggish. There are stretches of this film that take perhaps too much time to get going, constantly repeating the same plot points of Sara trying to recollect only for the husband to try and keep her safe and isolated from the outside world, spinning its wheels too often than it needs to. The film does reward you for your patience, however, thanks to its surreal, hallucinogenic last act.
For the first two thirds of the film, it presents itself to be a typically standard psychological thriller, but by the point where a certain dinner scene happens, the film diverges into some fascinating new avenues. It’s inventive, creative, and disturbingly dreamlike, but to say anymore would be spoiling the surprise. It really needs to be seen to be believed. That’s not to say there isn’t anything worthy of merit in the first two thirds because there is. It does a decent job at setting up this interesting yet almost unsettling dynamic between Sara and her husband, making you question whether the latter is just a creepy guy that’s gaslighting her throughout or if he’s much more than that. Shawn Ashmore does a solid job as the suspiciously creepy husband, but this is really Andrea Londo’s movie, effectively portraying vulnerability, anger, frustration, confusion, and strength seamlessly well.
The Free Fall is definitely a strange film overall, having effective ideas, solid performances and some twisted surprises in the last third, yet it’s dragged down by sluggish pacing, some creaky dialogue and there are times when characters or ideas aren’t as subtly portrayed as they perhaps should’ve been. In the end, this is just a passably enjoyable horror flick that passes the time just fine, even if it really could’ve benefitted from some fine-tuning here and there.
The Free Fall is out now