We All Fall Down (2005)

In an I Know What You Did Last Summer style move, some drunken teenagers accidentally run over a small Asian girl playing in the street. After hiding her body, they attempt to move on with their lives, but it’s not going to be quite as simple as all that. On hearing the building they hid the corpse in is going to be demolished, the guys go to move the body, afraid she’ll be discovered. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that when they get there, the corpse is gone. One terrified phone call to the girlfriend later, she’s on her way to investigate. There’re distinct shades of Dark Water here, particularly in the last scene’s schoolbag trick. There’s also some pretty clichéd used of lighting effects, and when the girl bends down to pick up a child’s shoe from the floor, anyone could tell you there’ll be something nasty behind her.

Having said that, though, the scares are pretty well executed, with an elaborate set that crawls with the potential for nastiness. Which is provided in abundance: after the first few scares-by-numbers are over with, things get a little more interesting. Obviously the rampant stupidity of teenagers in horror movies has rankled the filmmakers somewhere along the line, because these kids actually go to quite some length to keep the dead child a secret. Ingeniously, they break her teeth so that dental records can’t be used to identify her, and in the course of wrecking her revenge, the dead girl returns the favour, leading to a brilliantly nightmarish sequence in a grotty bathroom. There’s also some weird and wonderful tomfoolery with polythene wrap.

Unfortunately, the short falls down (no pun intended, sadly) in its logical inconsistencies. It’s all very well to have some teenagers accidentally kill a child and have her come back to haunt them, but if they were going to go to all that effort to knock out her teeth and everything, how come they didn’t hide her successfully enough to prevent her being found a couple of years later? And why didn’t they notice, once they had her all toothless and wrapped in plastic, that she was apparently still alive? There’re one or two scenes whose excision would really improve the short overall; but these niggling issues only really become apparent on repeat viewings. We All Fall Down is a slick little piece of creepiness.

Though We All Fall Down was a short to begin with, I've since seen a screening of it, re-titled The Fall Down, with an even shorter running time. The even-shorter version didn't make any sense, and removed the one stand-out sequence from the movie; even the title didn't make sense any more.

IMDB link

Originally reviewed for LivingCorpse as part of the Fangoria Blood Drive II DVD.

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