“The Fallout” Brings A Bigger Message to Its Audience

HBO Max’s new film “The Fallout” portrays a realistic version of the teenage life in 2022.


Photo IMDb

Official promotional poster for “The Fallout”

Cecilia Cheng, A&E Editor

Starring former “Dance Moms” star, Maddie Ziegler, and Disney Channel star, Jenna Ortega, “The Fallout” was released on Friday, Jan. 27 on HBO max and focuses on the aftermath of a school shooting.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with this movie. The movie showed how this traumatizing event affected these characters physically and mentally from more than one perspective, which not a lot of movies do.

Mia (Ziegler) is a popular Instagram influencer, who is more privileged, while Ortega’s character, Vada, is quite the opposite, a quiet and chill kid that likes to hang out with her sister. Both were trapped in the bathroom when the shooting happened and they learned to navigate through this trauma together, along with Nick (Niles Fitch), whose brother died in the event.

The scene in the bathroom is what got me shaken up the most out of the whole movie. The emotions were so real and the added sound effects made it feel like I was stuck in that tiny stall with them.

But the plot just gets more twisted and intense from there. I was speechless by the end of the movie.

Like you would imagine, Vada felt like her life was falling apart. She was too scared to go back to school and has now even messed up her relationship with her family. From Vada’s nightmares and therapy sessions to the marches and actions taken to limit gun rights, this film portrayed how a real person would deal with trauma. Her new friendship with Mia has also caused her to do some rebellious things, like drinking or even doing drugs. Not to spoil, but things do get messy and a little bit out of hand, making it feel like a coming to age movie, which is why I loved it so much.

The ending got my jaw to drop and caused me to need a new box of tissues (maybe I’m just a sensitive person.) The film ends with Vada having a panic attack after she finds out that there was another school shooting in Ohio.

The screen goes all white for about ten seconds and we have no idea if she is ok or not, since she is outside alone. To me, this was the perfect way to sum up this 90-minute movie, showing us the side of trauma and PTSD that is often left unaddressed.

Overall, I would rate this movie a 10/10. The acting was better than I imagined, putting me literally on the edge of my seat, shaking and nearly tearing up by the end of it. It’s a perfect representation of how students live in fear every day, as school shootings have become a “regular thing” over the past decade (According to Education Week, there were 34 school shootings just last year, 2021). The movie got everything just right, not too gory but also not too boring at the same time. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that has a little bit of spare time on their hands. Maybe people will finally get a sense of how messed up our world is.