A good film leaves you guessing and thinking. The best directors do not spoon feed viewers. You have to work to it. The Free Fall, directed by Adam Stilwell (The Triangle), follows that logic. Using the lack of details to keep the mystery the visually and substantively dark film ends up staggering along instead of keeping you trying to figure out what is going on.
The psychological thriller/horror film is trying to be all about mood with its typical horror score, darkness filling every frame visually and lack of expansion on the details of the story. Stilwell is ambitious in what he is trying to do. Probably too much so.
Waking up from a coma, Sara (Andrea Londo – appeared in episodes of Tommy and Narcos) is confused. Even more than confused, she does not know what happened and has little memory about her life. Sara finds out that she was in a coma due to a suicide attempt. She cannot remember this or why she would have attempted to end her life. We see in flashbacks that the suicide attempt came as a result of something traumatic she witnesses with her parents.
Confused, she becomes even more so when she cannot even remember the man who claims to be her husband. Nick (Shawn Ashmore – X-Men, The Ruins) demonstrates himself to be a devoted husband, maybe a little too much so. Concerned about his wife’s mental state, Nick pretty much wraps her up in bubble wrap and keeps her within the confines of their expansive home. She is not even allowed to roam freely in her own house as several rooms are forbidden to her. Plus Nick has hired Rose (Jane Badler – appeared in episodes of Murder, She Wrote and V), a rather severe nurse, to pretty much follow Sara around.
A large mansion filled with dark corners and plenty of eerie furnishings. A woman who is seemingly losing her mind. Loads of the elements you need in the construction of a horror film. Yet here the pieces do not add up to something good. Mostly because it is rather repetitive throughout its runtime. There are only so many scenes you can see of someone looking distressed in a bath or not understanding what is going on. It all becomes a little redundant and your mind will begin to wander.
A man gaslighting a woman a la Daphne DuMaurier. You know things are not normal but cannot really put your finger on why. You do know from the very beginning that this is not going to be a film that ends well. Everything is too dark and foreboding for that.