A new movie about the tragic life of a modern American high schooler is increasing rapidly in popularity on the HBO Max streaming platform and providing yet another starring role for actress Jenna Ortega. The Fallout is currently the number one movie on HBO Max in the United States thanks in large part to its depressingly relatable premise. The movie follows Jenna Ortega’s character as she deals with the aftermath of a shooting incident at her high school.
As depicted in the trailer, the young woman is in her school bathroom with another girl when they hear shots ringing out in the hallway as well as their fellow classmates screaming. As a violent and deadly mass shooting incident unfolds just outside the bathroom, the girls hide in a stall together fearing for their lives.
The rest of the movie sees Jenna Ortega’s character trying to cope with the trauma that the event placed on her, losing friends who either can’t relate or whose own trauma and grief take them in a direction she cannot follow. Instead, she befriends the girl who she was hiding with, played by West Side Story actress Maddie Ziegler. The two embark on a journey of drugs, drinking, therapy, hard conversations, sex and more in order to process the event and come of age in an unprecedented time when there are far too many people their age who can relate to their struggle.
The film finds the subtlety and nuance in dealing with a trauma that’s not necessarily new to people, but definitely just being discussed openly in art as of late. That’s likely why the movie is currently among the most popular on the streaming platform with a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In addition, it’s yet another springboard role for Jenna Ortega on the way to mainstream fame.
Jenna Ortega has been having a huge year thanks in large part to the release of The Fallout, but she’s also hot off a turn as one of the main characters in the newest installment in the beloved Scream franchise, where she plays the younger sister of the new woman who Ghostface is hoping to torment with a horror movie-inspired killing spree. However, she’s no damsel in distress, putting a new modern spin on the classic tropes of the genre. Badass rule breaking seems to be a trend for the star these days following a turn in season 2 of Netflix’s You as well as in The Babysitter: Killer Queen. In other words, her star is on the rise and for good reason.
Anyone who has tuned into The Fallout, which is a lot of people, will tell you that Jenna Ortega carries the movie and is more than at home tackling drama after essentially cutting her teeth in the horror and thriller space. However, she previously told The New York Times that filming on The Fallout was a lot more draining than some of the other projects she’s done. It makes sense given that it’s a lot more taxing to be the lead of a movie. In addition, the subject matter took the actress to some pretty dark emotional territory. She told the outlet that she was actually relieved to get back to lighter stuff by filming Scream 5 right after The Fallout… lighter stuff… Scream 5. Think about that!
Despite all her success, Jenna Ortega remains pretty humble. The first thing she does when asked by The Hollywood Reporter about how popular she is right now is to kick the credit to the writer and director of The Fallout, Megan Park, who is making her feature film debut with the HBO Max original film. She complimented the dialogue for being so natural and steeped in “Gen Z culture” that she barely had any acting to do because it all felt so organic. She also noted that she views The Fallout and its grim subject matter as “an apology letter to this generation.” She said that she had to tap into all that the youth of America has to fear in order to play her character and concluded on yet another humble note by hoping that audiences respond positively to it.
In short, Jenna Ortega is definitely a name worth remembering as she’s dominating the first part of 2022 on streaming. It’s no wonder that Tim Burton is turning to her as the next Wednesday Addams for his upcoming live-action Addams Family spinoff — Wednesday, which is set to release on streaming for Netflix, though no date has been announced yet.