The Falling

| March 14, 2008

At what point do the means affect your perception of the end? How long can anyone ignore apparent distractions and allow for any return on your viewing investment? I quickly began to ask myself these questions as I viewed The Falling, being released in April by Echelon Studios. The story follows police officer Grayson Reed, played by Scott Gabelein, as he struggles to come to terms with the eternal question: Why do bad things happen to good people?
Writer/Director Nicholas Gyeney poses a daring story of pre-heavenly warfare threatening earth as Satan arrives to smash our last thread of faith. Quickly a fellowship of angels and demon minions standoff as they bargain for Grayson’s allegiance. Grayson must decide to either accept his responsibilities as the angel-appointed, last presence of faith, or deny the idea that God is in control of both good and evil.
I confess now that my opening questions began to develop early on. Gyeney seems to stumble upon what has been a long-debated theology of ethics and metaphysics. Some scholars argue that evil exists in our world because God doesn’t have complete control over Satan, but rather they are constantly at battle, at least in a spiritual sense and therefore Satan often causes bad things to happen.
This spiritual struggle and its directly biblical themes seem foundational to Gyeney’s story, but the film and DVD commentary give little, if any, credit to the notion, not to mention Gyeney allows a priest to repeatedly say “Revelations” when the book of the Bible is clearly labeled as “Revelation.” Gyeney made little, if any, reference to anything actually in the Bible, and instead works off of a lost work that explains the prophecy coming to life in his story, which affects his credibility.
My questions started to distract me from the film, and slowly the value of the production and overall flow of the story began to answer my questions. The point at which the means can affect perception can come swiftly and to ignore such glaring distractions is futile.
Most glaringly, Gyeney spread himself far too thin. He confessed in the commentary to control of the cinematography, and on top of writing and directing, he is credited as a grip, a gaffer and a handful of other post-production jobs. As a result, the script was lean and lacked the urgency that should come easily with the subject matter, and less-than-experienced actors were left to fend for themselves and consequently just rubbed their faces and spoke monotonously. The ADR, dialogue that is re-recorded and sunk to picture in post, had an inconsistent mix and scenes dragged.
To his credit, Gyeney made the best use of his limited budget, but the work clearly suffered from the lack of it. Gyeney also did all the basic things well enough to avoid adding more distraction. His fight sequences were tight and well choreographed and he managed to still keep up an interest in how his story was going to end. Perhaps his best decision was to cast Donovan Marley as Father McQueen, a local priest enlisted by the Five Angels to influence Grayson and help with the fight against Satan. His tone and delivery shined amidst an otherwise serviceable cast.
I had a difficult time with distractions that pulled me out of the story, but those who can overlook these diversions should be entertained as The Falling forces you to wonder who is really in control of your existence.
The DVD is available for early purchase at, along with the rest of their catalog, and scheduled for full release April 29th, 2008.

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