When I remembered mid-way through watching I had to review Confine I realized that I felt like one of the gang in Friends when debating on how they would congratulate Joey on his latest poor film or television show. “Well the lighting was okay.” “You got lighting last time, it’s my turn.” “I’ve got costumes!”
I would like to pull a Phoebe and simply push my breasts against it to kind of support it because it’s a British indie but I feel like that might just come off as weird and false.
The film is set entirely in the apartment of recluse ex-model Pippa (Daisy Lowe) who hasn’t left her home in four years following a tragic car accident that has left her with a number of mildly unattractive scars. When a robbery takes place at a neighbouring flat one of the criminals breaks into Pippa’s apartment to wait out the police, forcing Pippa to realize that even locking herself away from the world won’t keep her safe.
The primary issue with the film is that it is meant to be a thriller but there are no real thrills to be had. There are a few odd moments of exciting drama during the second half and climax (where we root for the antagonist) but too much time in the first two acts is spent on demonstrating how isolated and self-deprecating Pippa is.
Not only does her isolation prove superficial when we are reminded of her bustling neighbours but Pippa’s absurd uselessness makes her one of the least relatable invasion-thriller victims around. The closest she comes to putting up a fight is when she whimpers to herself after her accoster knocks over a pile of meticulously organized magazines. The inexperienced Daisy Lowe does the best she can with the role but no amount of elegant expository pans and dollies can save the fact that the secluded drama consistently fails to pack a tension-filled punch.
Easily, Confine‘s best asset comes in the form of Eliza Bennet as intruder Kayleigh. Whilst pace and poor dialogue regularly hinder the film’s actresses, Bennet is often casually unnerving without having to speak as her beauty directly contrasts the violent temper she exhibits to Pippa and cohort, Henry (Alfie Allen).
It’s easy to see what writer/director Tobias Tobbell is trying to achieve with subtle comments on the modelling world and a mild exploration of social ineptitude but the grey script and luxurious style are just missing a key ingredient that would take the finished product from technically great student-feeling film to highbrow indie thriller. During a brief heart to heart with Pippa, Kayleigh comments on the second-rate nature of her accomplice/boyfriend Henry, announcing that for all he is good for, all he gives her at the end of the day is bad grammar and a disappointing orgasm, and that’s what we get from Confine: it stutters and tries but at the end of the day it is a little too underwhelming.
Confine will have a limited cinema release from 1st July and is also available on DVD and Video on Demand.