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indexConfine (2014; Dir.: Tobias Tobbell)

GRADE: C

By Daniel Barnes

British writer-director Tobias Tobbell’s (link) thriller Confine has a solid Repulsion meets The Desperate Hours set-up, as well as a classic femme fatale villain, but the microbudget limitations become overwhelming in the third act. The film was clearly shot on a single set, a boundary that Tobbell transcends by making his lead character a shut-in. Model and first-time actress Daisy Lowe plays Pippa, a formerly successful model who developed paranoid schizophrenia (or agoraphobia or obsessive compulsive disorder, depending on the needs of the scene) after she was disfigured in a car crash. Pippa has been living in her self-made prison for four years, but her illusion of safety is dispelled when a cute thief named Kayleigh takes her hostage following a botched robbery. The bubbly but sociopathic Kayleigh is played by Eliza Bennett, best known for teenage performances in juvenile fare like Nanny McPhee and Inkheart, but fully embracing her character’s shape-shifting mercilessness here. It’s also kind of fun seeing Alfie Allen, who spent a full season of Game of Thrones getting tortured as Theon Greyjoy, court type-casting by getting tied up for another brutal beating in this film. Unfortunately, Lowe never connects with her character or with the audience, and the staginess of Confine becomes an unconquerable hurdle when Tobbell starts gilding the genre framework with inane twists.