VOD film review: Confine
James R | On 01, Jul 2013
Director: Tobias Tobbell
Cast: Daisy Lowe, Eliza Bennett, Alfie Allen
A Field in England is racking up the column inches this week as it hits cinemas, DVD, TV and VOD all on the same day, but four days ahead of that comes Confine. Arriving in cinemas and on DVD and VOD, it’s an enjoyable reminder that digital distribution is a great opportunity for indie films – particularly when they’re good.
Tobias Tobbell’s tense thriller begins with a shot of a locked door. Like former model Pippa (Daisy Lowe), who walks around her posh London apartment nervously checking the windows, we never see the other side.
Disfigured and lonely, Pippa hasn’t even stepped into the hallway for the last four years. She argues with her family on the phone, makes friends via Skype and obsessively stacks magazines in neat piles around the bedroom. That limited lifestyle is turned upside down when devious crook Kayleigh (Eliza Bennett) arrives – and the tension sets in.
The challenge with single-location shoots is to stop things feeling static. That’s not a problem for Tobbell. Taking a leaf out of David Fincher’s Panic Room book, he weaves the camera smoothly through Pippa’s tiny corridors, keeping the screen dynamic.
His cast are as good as his location: Daisy Lowe, in her first screen role, is convincing as the trapped model. She may have gone to the Tom Cruise-in-Vanilla-Sky-School-of-Disfigurement, but she sells her emotional torture with impressive conviction. Fresh from a painful shoot on Game of Thrones, Alfie Allen is solid as one of Kayleigh’s gang. It’s nice to see Theon Greyjoy with a quiff and a cockney accent – although one sequence in which he’s tied to a chair makes you wonder if poor Alfie has physical torture written into his contract.
But while Daisy’s debut may bag the headlines, it’s her rival that steals the show. A stonking, stunning villain, Eliza’s antagonist floats through the flat with carefree menace, comfortably cycling through wigs, outfits and personalities every few minutes. At one point she even speaks German – then morphs it into Spanish.
While Bennett’s on screen, Confine is captivating. It’s a disappointment, then, when the mildly predictable ending finally arrives. Hints that are dropped early on are followed through to the letter – almost as if the script has been wrestled away from the unpredictable Eliza and back into more conventional hands.
At a tightly cut 81 minutes, though, Confine is a confident, claustrophobic thriller that makes for solid Saturday night streaming. It may not be Panic Room, but it’s still stands alongside many big budget thrillers out there. Here’s hoping we see Eliza Bennett in a few of those soon.