Kelly (Brittany Ashworth) and Sophie (Anaïs Parello) are staying in a cabin near the foot of the Dolomite mountains in Italy, preparing to make the climb early the next morning. Their peaceful preparations are soon interrupted by the arrival of four very loud men who are staying in a nearby cabin and are clearly very excited to be on a climbing trip of their own. The loudest and most obnoxious of the group is Joshua (Ben Lamb) who catches the eye of Sophie after she and Kelly come outside to see what all the fuss was about, and there’s a spark of attraction between them.
A little later there’s a knock at the girl’s door and it’s Ben, inviting them both to a fireside drinking session that evening. As the party progresses, a few things become apparent – Joshua is in fact an even bigger arsehole than originally suspected, and his three friends all seem to be a little wary of him, due to something that happened between them all when they were younger. They clearly think he’s a little crazy and unstable.
When Kelly decides to head back to the cabin for an early night, Sophie sticks around with the boys, flirting mildly with Joshua and managing to more than hold her own among all the toxic masculinity and bad acting on display. However, things soon take a dark turn and when Kelly hears a scream, she comes back out to see what’s going on, just in time to see Sophie being murdered and thrown from a small cliff. She also just happens to have caught the whole thing on camera, so when Joshua spots her, the boys give chase. Without the camera evidence, the whole thing could have been passed off as an unfortunate accident, so they really need to get their hands on it.
Despite her shock, Kelly is able to quickly make her way back to the cabin, gather up her climbing equipment and begin her ascent up the mountain before the men are able to catch up to her. They almost manage to catch her when she’s just a few feet from the ground, but she breaks free and continues her climb. From there, a thrilling game of cat and mouse ensues, with the men desperate to get their hands on that camera and Kelly determined not to end up in the same situation as her friend.
First the good points. I was actually on the edge of my seat for a lot of The Ledge and found the tension as Kelly gets higher and higher up the treacherous mountain face and into increasing danger to be hugely enjoyable. There’s a large chunk of the film where Kelly finds herself stuck on a tiny ledge while the bros try to find a way to get to her that, for the most part, is pretty intense, and I really couldn’t see how she was going to make it out of there alive. It just really worked well for me.
There are a few things that worked against this movie for me though. Firstly, the guys only climb a short way up the mountain before taking a short-cut trail that ends up putting them above the ledge that Kelly is trapped on. Now, having already climbed that mountain the year before, was she not aware of this trail that would give her an advantage? Or better still, why not flee the scene by car rather than gathering up your equipment and climbing up a mountain? Secondly, we learn that Kelly’s fiancé, who was actually a climbing instructor, died the year before while attempting the same climb with her and we are constantly bombarded with flashbacks of Kelly in training with her smiling, handsome fiancé as he delivers motivational tips and advice that she is now able to draw upon in her current predicament. It starts to get a little annoying and distracting.
And finally, something I’ve already touched upon. Josh. He is such an irritating, over-the-top psychopath, with dodgy acting and an even dodgier script that threatens to ruin the whole movie on more than one occasion. His friends are nowhere near as bad, although all of those characters are so thinly defined and overshadowed by Josh that they barely register at times.
That being said, all of the above wasn’t quite enough to stop me from appreciating what this small budget movie managed to achieve. I was hooked early on and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride it took me on.
Signature Entertainment presents The Ledge on Digital Platforms 14th March and DVD 21st March
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Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.