Interview: Tobias Tobbell on Confine

Award-winning filmmaker Tobias Tobell is the writer and director of the upcoming British thriller Confine, which sees a vulnerable model taken hostage in her own home. We caught up with Tobias to get some insights into his film.

Confine is one of the most heart-pounding and tense films I have seen in a while. And I loved it. Daisy Lowe plays Pippa, a model forced to give up her career after a car crash leaves her disfigured and unable to walk without a stick. She lacks confidence and even fears to leave her own home. But when her flat is broken into by fiery and feisty Kayleigh (Eliza Bennett) Pippa’s haven suddenly turns into hell. Trapped , scared and alone, she fears for her life .

But where did the inspiration for Confine come from? Tobias started writing Confine some time ago and it was while he was watching fashion TV in a bar that the idea suddenly popped into his head. He explains, “I just started thinking that it might be interesting to look at the life behind a model.” He wanted to take someone so “out-there and extroverted and turn it on its head.” Models are typically confident people, which is why Pippa is such a unique character. Tobias wanted to put shy and unconfident Pippa up against Kayleigh – who Tobias describes as seemingly innocent to begin with, before becoming increasingly “fierce and fiery”.

Confine is a scarily realistic insight into what could happen if someone broke into your home. But Tobias added, “it could happen, but of course it doesn’t have to be that complicated.” Tobias says that during the second drafting of Confine, he had the misfortune of experiencing a break-in first hand. “Someone managed to follow me to my flat and push in behind me through the door. I was trapped in my own flat with this guy with a knife who essentially marched around the place taking what he wanted. It was all over in a few minutes and thank god nothing happened. It just shows how easy it is for something like that to happen.”

Tobias thinks that this scary incident influenced his writing during the last drafts of the film. Originally Pippa and Kayleigh formed a friendship, but things couldn’t be more different in the finished film.

Tobias has perfected the art of terror and tension. Confine boasts a stunning soundtrack which almost replicates the sound of a beating heart. “This is exactly the effect I was going for” he explains, “I spoke about the score with the composers way before we started shooting.” It was important for Tobias to talk through each track, so the tension could be built effectively throughout every section of the film. “I wanted to create an underscore with a tense pulse”, he says, rather than sudden bangs which are typically used in horror films. It’s all about maintaining the pressure, “I hope to keep pushing the tense angle in the next project if I can.

Tobias’ passion in life has always been film and theatre, and having written plays since he was a teenager, he feels it may have influenced the way he wrote Confine. After writing 25 plays, Confine is Tobias’ film début. He believes the film’s story “has a theatrical feel to it” and he thinks that it could be effective as a play too.

Even though Tobias is very pleased with the way Confine has come out, he says “there are things I would go back and change, just like any other filmmaker would think.” Tobias is particularly pleased with the visuals and the cinematography of the film. He added, “It has been played at twenty festivals and has picked up almost fifteen awards. I am very pleased with it.”

Confine comes to UK cinemas on July 1st.

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