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Toronto After Dark Review: ‘The Free Fall’ is a Slow-Burn Psychological Thriller with a Supernatural Twist

October 17, 2021Ben MK

What if you completely lost your memory and awoke to a stranger telling you that they're your partner and that you had tried to take your own life? That's the scenario Sara (Andrea Londo) finds herself in in The Free Fall, a suspenseful tale of psychological and supernatural horror from director Adam Stilwell, in which a young woman must try to discern what's real and what's not, as she struggles to come to terms with the brutal deaths of her parents.

It's the night of Sara's parent's wedding anniversary, and as she enters their house she can already sense that something is amiss. Making her way upstairs, Sara's worst fears are confirmed, when she walks in on the bloody scene of her mother stabbing her father multiple times before turning the knife on herself. It's a sight so terrible that Sara eventually blacks out, only to regain consciousness in the same house, but with no recollection of what happened and a man named Nick (Shawn Ashmore) at her bedside. Claiming to be her husband, Nick reassures her that she's safe. However, can Sara truly trust in anything that he says? Adding to her worries is the disquieting presence of a maid named Rose (Jane Badler), whom Nick claims he hired to take care of her. But with both Nick and Rose seemingly trying to manipulate Sara and control her every move, are they genuinely concerned with her wellbeing — or is there something more sinister to their motivations?

A slow-burning and foreboding mystery in which nothing is quite as it seems, the result will keep audiences guessing till the very end. Yet, despite The Free Fall's surprise twist, some viewers may find it difficult to muster the patience to stick with the story all the way through to its conclusion. Suffice to say, there's an intriguing story hiding somewhere within the film's plodding narrative. It's just a shame that it all ends up being so forgettable.

The Free Fall makes its Canadian premiere at the 2021 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 23 min.

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