A sexually-charged psychological horror film, The Free Fall, does well by its lead character, Sara (Andrea Londo), and crafts a harrowing tale. To my surprise, it is actually a hybrid of multiple horror subgenres, but to disclose anything more would be considered a spoiler. Either way, I was impressed by the level of narrative originality. Far from perfect yet not without its charms, The Free Fall is worth one’s time as a little beginning-of-the-year treat.
The film starts in a rather explosive and shocking way, as Sara heads over to her parent’s home to celebrate their anniversary. Mom and dad are nowhere to be found in their sprawling mansion. Sara discovers her mother, donned in a bright white wedding dress, dripping with blood. She is standing over the body of her husband, who she has stabbed several times over. “Everything’s gonna be different now,” she tells Sara in an almost trance-like state. Seconds later, her mother slits her own throat.
Some time later, Sara wakes up in a bed, and cannot seem to remember anything. Her husband, Nick (Shawn Ashmore, still a total dreamboat well after his days in the X-Men films and 2008’s classic, The Ruins), somberly informs Sara that he found her in a bathtub. She lost a lot of blood. Her parents died “last October,” and her sister, Julie, manipulated the will in a way which left Sara with only this grandiose mansion. As Sara struggles to recover her memory, her grip on reality grows hazy. Over and over again, Sara seems to have flashes of memories and recurring images that she always wakes up from abruptly. After a while, this grows tiring and stale. Thankfully, the tension between Sara and Nick never falters.
Nick spends a fair chunk of the film gaslighting Sara, with his intentions constantly up for debate. 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.
Your grip on reality shatters when The Free Fall premieres in theaters and On Demand on Friday, January 14th.