Sometimes you watch a movie and you can’t stop thinking about it. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes it brightens your day or motivates you to try something new. This film stuck in my head for a different reason. It scared me, informed me, made me feel emotions that were buried deep in my head and heart. I think that is one of the signs of a good, successful movie. Not how it does at the box office, but how or what it makes you feel.

I got the chance to watch The Fallout last year at the 2020 South by Southwest Film Festival. The film stars Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, and Niles Fitch among others. The actors were incredible. The story was heavy, but everything felt necessary and purposeful. The director, Megan Park, did a great job at directing the film, writing it, and presenting it in a way that is digestible, powerful, and humorous. The funny parts can be hard to smile at because previous scenes are so upsetting, but this conflict of emotion mimics real life.

from HBO Max on YouTube

What really makes this movie so successful is its acting. It feels natural, almost like you’re watching a documentary, not a scripted narrative. Because of the topics and trauma at hand, this naturalistic acting makes it incredibly easy to empathize with the teenagers, their situation, and how they attempt to cope with the aftermath.

Overall, this film should not be watched when you want to be uplifted. It is heavy, but it all has a purpose. I recommend reading the ratings on IMDb if you are sensitive to violence, check out the Parent’s Guide on the movie’s page.

The Fallout is written and directed with intention and it is no surprise that HBO Max will be streaming the film, starting January 27, 2022. It’s a story that you don’t want to miss, but please be prepared before you watch it. It can be terrifying, it can bring up bad memories, and it can cause a lot of anxiety, but I still think it’s worth a watch if you can bear to watch through the tough parts. You could always skip forward if you find a part of the film too upsetting to watch or digest.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


*Disclaimer: Making a movie/tv show is hard. Sometimes you have an idea and it is not interpreted how you intended it to be. All directors, producers, writers, and everyone on set should be proud at what they created and I do not want to diminish that. I just want to share my opinions so we can learn from movies and see what works and what didn’t.

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