The Falling is an unusually ambitious low budget indie flick with a premise which captured my interest immediately. Essentially the film is about Satan coming to earth and a group of angels trying to stop him. The catch is the angels fear a war so instead of acting directly they choose a human champion and try to encourage him to defeat Satan while they watch. It´s every bit as strange as it sounds.
The human champion in question is a cop named Grayson Reed and he gets pulled into events when his former partner, Ryan, who is also his sister´s boyfriend, freaks out after working with a priest to find a secret scripture which tells of Satan´s imminent arrival. Ryan descends into a drug binge and Grayson tries to set him on the straight and narrow with little success. When Ryan and a group of his druggy pals wind up dead the priest and Michael try to convince Grayson that Satan is responsible and worse that he must defeat him in battle.
The Falling was written and directed by Nicholas Gyeney. While the direction is reasonable with some nice touches the writing is weak and the overall mood of the film is far too serious. The pacing is ponderous and there are lots of bad conversations and speeches interspersed with corny unconvincing scenes and accompanied by over the top dramatic music. The plot development is poor and the unfolding events involve too many pointless characters.
The believability of the characters in this film was heavily dependant on the actors involved and with the exception of Michael Ayden who plays Satan with some gusto the acting performances are dry. It seems every line of dialogue in the film is delivered in a monotone overly serious manner. Scott Gabelein struggles to bring any depth or interest to his starring role as Grayson Reed and consequently you don´t invest emotionally in his struggle, in fact I found myself rooting for Satan. The angel Michael had some potential as a character but while Rory Colin Fretland looked the part he failed to convince once he opened his mouth.
As the film progresses Satan sends his two skinhead sidekicks out to cause trouble. The film is low on action but towards the end Grayson finally faces up to the Satanic sidekicks and then the man himself. There is some nice weaponry on display and you expect a dramatic fight sequence however when it finally comes the combat is underwhelming. The film would really have benefited from having decent fight scenes and maybe a bit of a special effects budget.
The Falling is definitely an interesting idea full of potentially rich characters but the potential is never realised. The limitation of a low budget prevents the film from really convincing on the subject matter and the overly serious tone and slow pace make it less than entertaining in places. This is a brave effort and a fairly original movie but ultimately it disappoints.