The Toll Blu Ray Review (Lionsgate/Saban Films)
The Toll is a 2020 supernatural horror film written, edited, produced, and directed by Michael Nader (Head Count, Flock of Four, Drowning, and Rematar). It was produced by William Day Frank (Psychopaths, Totem, Berserk, From Now, Hell House, and The Believer). It premiered at the 2020 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. It’s late at night, an exhausted Cami (played by: Jordan Hayes from Helix, House at the End of the Street, What If, and Transporter: The Series) orders a ride-share at the airport. Her driver Spencer (played by: Max Topplin from Suits, Insomnia, Carrie, and Dead Before Dawn 3D) is very awkward and a little weird. She’s going to her dad’s place in the middle of nowhere. Cami grows increasingly suspicious of Spencer’s odd behavior as the drive goes on. This fear gives way to full-blown terror when their car breaks down on a secluded road after a wrong turn. And they both realize they’re not alone. Suddenly the car comes under attack. Attached to a message that warns visitors must “pay the toll.” Bad memories from the past start to haunt and torture them. Cami and Spencer realize it’s a supernatural force haunting them: the Toll Man (played by: Daniel Harroch from X-Men: Days of Future Past, Race, The Walk, and The Detectives), pitting these two strangers against each other. Until they discover that for either to survive, one of them has to die!!!!The Toll kinda came out of no where and I didn’t hear much about it until it was released on home video from Lionsgate and Saban Films. This is basically a two person feature. It does have a few characters pop up every once awhile including the awesome looking main villain The Toll Man. I wish they had more of that role in this but I get what they were doing with him. They went with the Jaws approach here, the less the better so it had more suspense and mystery to him which works for this horror thriller hybrid. The two leads here were great and their awkward chemistry really works for the concept. You have to be a little patient with this one because it relies on it’s character development and build up from the start. It takes a minute to get somewhere but it’s worth the wait. Very impressed with Jordan Hayes and Max Topplin. They take something that could be a little boring and drag on to an interesting interaction between two strangers trying to survive this weird situation. It gets really tense and you are not sure what’s going to happen next with this. It has some genuine creepy moments and visuals. Don’t expect something super gory here, it’s more psychological than anything. I like the playing with your fears idea, this has potential for possible sequels. I really enjoyed The Toll and it’s definitely worth checking out, RECOMMENDED!!!! Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special features from Lionsgate! This 1080p (2.38:1) transfer looks amazing here on blu ray. It’s stylish cinematography and nightmarish visuals really stand out. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is good and it does have it’s moments during the wild finale. This is a dialogue driven feature especially for the first 30 to 40 minutes. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the madness is elevated in the 2nd half of this, and the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH and Spanish subtitles. “Pay the Toll Man” is almost 20 minutes. It’s a highly detailed and inside look into making the film with creative mind Michael Nader. He chats about the origin of the project and how it came together. He talks about being a huge horror fan and it helping with his anxiety. He goes over working on a script that can be made for cheap and he mentions they did all this on a very small budget. He brings up the producers and the cast involved with The Toll. He mentions his research on things people find creepy with strangers and he used it to his advantage here. This has all kinds of information about this independent horror flick and some behind the scenes photos. It has some “Trailers” from other Lionsgate releases. It comes with a glossy slipcover and a digital code. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!