THE LEDGE (2022)
Directed by Howard J. Ford
Available on Digital from 14th March 2022 and DVD 21st March 2022
After witnessing a group of men committing a crime, a young woman finds herself trapped high upon the cliff-face of a mountain in a fight for survival.
Howard J. Ford, the director of The Dead, returns with this adrenaline-pumping survival thriller that will have mountain climbers rubbing their hands with glee and rest of us glad we’re sat on the couch in the safety of our own home.
THE LEDGE starts off in a typical way you’d expect from a horror when sleazeball Joshua tries to make moves on Sophie, one of the two young women staying at the log cabins situated within hiking distance to the mountains they intend to climb. When Sophie’s not too keen on his forceful advances, the egomaniac tries to force himself on her which results in his friends intervening. Frightened for her life, Sophie makes a run for it but matters come to a head when Joshua and co. finally get their hands on her, with disastrous consequences. Awoken from her sleep, Sophie’s friend Kelly walks into the woods to find out exactly what’s going on and makes a horrifying discovery which she records on her camcorder. Aware they’ve been spotted, the group of men hunt Kelly down, determined to get the incriminating footage off her. Knowing that herself and Sophie were the only ones skilled enough to climb the face of the mountain, Kelly makes her way to free-climb the mountain but Joshua and his friends are in hot pursuit.
When we first meet the female leads, the character of Kelly (played brilliantly by Brittany Ashworth) comes off as the quieter of the two. Discovering her backstory, we can see why she didn’t fancy socialising too much to begin with. Though it appears as best friend Sophie is the headstrong one, Kelly shows she’s full of grit and determination as she risks her life to get justice for Sophie who suffers at the hands of Joshua and the three guys. Not only must she escape the clutches of the four men on her tail, she must also avoid falling to a grisly death once she starts to scale the perilous mountain face. As she loses equipment along the way and has very little in the means of clothing or nutrition, having grabbed her gear in a hurry, braving the elements is just as much as a threat to her survival as the cliff and the guys are. As the risks mount, it’s nerve-wracking to watch however you also get the feeling that, no matter what happens, she’ll be okay. The way she moves on the wall, even the slight stumbles, never really give the impression that she’s going to make a grave error and, believe me, there’s loads of times the poor lass could have fallen to a grisly death.
The group of guys also holidaying in the resort, with plans to take the more gentler climb, are led by misogynistic creep, Joshua. As soon as he opens his mouth, it’s clear to see he’s bad news. Whilst his friends don’t seem to share his way of thinking, they do very little to go against him with only Reynolds showing any real concern. Much like the backstory of Kelly, we learn more about why the friends are so compliant but it doesn’t affect the storyline much as they continue to hunt down Kelly when things go awry.
THE LEDGE is pretty intense at times, purely from the predicament the characters find themselves, but the pantomime villain-esque performance of Joshua and the extreme luck that Kelly possesses snap you out of the moment and remind you that it’s just a fictitious story you’re watching. Nevertheless, it feels balanced in terms of maintaining the threat-level of the guys pursuing Kelly with that of mother nature working against her, whilst Kelly tries to gain small advantages where she can.
Showcasing some impressive aerial and scenic shots combined with the thrilling appeal and danger of mountain climbing, an action-packed angle that only serves to intensify the situation Kelly finds herself in, THE LEDGE is a refreshing take on the horror thriller genre.