Suspense is built upon an absurd premise in survival thriller The Ledge, the latest feature from director Howard J. Ford. The plot sees friends Kelly (Brittany Ashworth) and Sophie (Anaïs Parello) embark on a mountainous adventure, endeavouring to scale a notoriously difficult cliff face. On their arrival at the base, they meet a group of four ‘bros’ on their own trip, fronted by Joshua (Ben Lamb), their arrogant ringleader. Before long, the two parties congregate for drinks and debauchery over a bonfire but when events take a very dark turn, Kelly finds herself free climbing the deadly façade to outrun the boys as they desperately try to cover their tracks after an earlier attack.
A bizarre cross between Danny Boyle’s crevice drama 127 Hours and ‘the wall’ round from 90s TV programme Gladiators, the early nastiness in the film sets up an extremely dangerous situation. The script, penned by first timer Tom Boyle, is riddled with cliché in exposing the toxic masculinity within the antagonist’s clan, and the iffy acting is at times wrestling heel levels of over-the-top. Despite these problems in the narrative, Ford expresses a genuine knack for ramping up tension as Kelly’s terrible predicament gets gradually worse and increasingly silly.
A heightened score from Imran Ahmad amplifies the intensity, adding to the mindless entertainment value alongside an eye-watering exhibition of gory, graphic injuries that stretch its low-budget to the limit. Clumsily handled flashbacks are introduced in an attempt to add emotional depth to the protagonist’s backstory, but the overly serious tone clashes with the B-movie sensibilities of the rest of the piece.
Leaning into the farcical nature of its story, Howard J. Ford’s The Ledge makes the very most of the platform it gets to play on by crafting some gripping set pieces. As the villains become almost pantomime-esque in their portrayals, it makes it fun and easy to root for Brittany Ashworth in this amusingly far-fetched thriller.
Review of survival thriller ‘The Ledge’!Tweet