Acrophobia at the Movies

<1 min read

I'm definitely afraid of heights. My mom relishes on telling the story of how I almost never cried as a baby unless held in someone's arms. Amazingly enough it was accurately diagnosed as potential acrophobia by my pediatrician at the time. 40+ years later, my feet still don't leave the ground very often…

In the last few months we went to see several movies featuring jaw-dropping skyscraper stunts.

We saw Tower Heist, where the protagonists attempt to steal a priceless car from a high-rise hotel. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, where Tom Cruise climbs the side of the world's tallest building. Finally, Man on a Ledge, where most of the anti-hero's screen time is spent on the ledge of a downtown NYC hotel.

I'm generally unaffected by dizzying scenes in movies… But one of them really did me in… Want to guess which one?

If you thought Mission Impossible; you couldn't be more wrong. It did absolutely nothing for me, even in IMAX.

Man on a Ledge incited a tiny bit of a reaction, at times, without any lasting effects.

Tower Heist, on the other hand, really got a rise out of me. I felt like I was right there, on the verge of freaking out. I suspect it was all about the camera work, but I surely did not expect that from a comedy.

I would actually categorize the scenes as some of the best ever. You might disagree, but take it from someone who has a physical reaction to these things. This one felt real; the others felt like… well… movies.