THE TOLL (REVIEW)
Dir. Michael Nader
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
When a lone woman and her taxi driver are left stranded in unfamiliar woodland, they soon learn that the only way out is through paying the Toll Man leaving the two strangers both fighting through personal demons to make it out alive.
At first it's easy to see how THE TOLL could a standard stalk and slash film with the core elements here but instead, the supernatural elements really bring home a more terrifying transit of terror. As Cami (Jordan Hayes) tries to suss out the suspicious driver, Spencer (Max Topplin) the suspicions are never clear on either persons real motives but as they band together to get through the woods and to the end destination, the secrets of the woods open up and the Toll Man arrives to collect his due.
While tense throughout, there never seems a let up on the fear for either party and this is well portrayed by the two, especially Hayes who really makes the paranoia and vulnerability feel real. As the film doesn't take too long to set up it's premise, one event after another chase the pair and crank up to a conclusion that feels satisfying, if a little flat. The driving force behind this movie is the Toll Man mythos but it's never explored much further than it being there. It's an interesting concept and certainly holds attention however the in a somewhat predictable plot twist, the film fizzles out rather than bangs. A strange set up of TVs from a viewing post really feels out of place and while it makes for an interesting set piece, just feels far out of place for the supernatural entities hiding in the woods.
There's much more here to explore and it's an interesting movie to add to the genre to say the least.