Directed by Christopher Picone and written by Robert Dibella and Darren Wallach, three entrepreneurs visit an abandoned hospital with a very dark history. Hoping it could become potential profitable investment, they unknowingly stumble upon a dark realm of sheer madness. Starring: Thomas J. O’Brien, Sabrina Ahmed and Joshua Diolosa.
The Confined kicks things off with a traditionally spooky note, setting the scene for what this trio of naïve entrepreneurs are about to walk into. From there, the story is pretty much what you’re expecting it to be, a series of increasingly dark events befalling them. Though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, horror has many formulas for good reason, you can follow them and still make something entertaining. In that sense, the tone and style of The Confined feels like a homage to horror, especially the fun, chaotic, over the top B-Movie style horror.
Its directorial style from Christopher Picone has a touch of found footage to it while not stepping into that arena. There’s a roughness and grain to it that hold a similar atmosphere. However, it does at times fall into darkness a little too heavily and dampens the level of detail. Although at the same time, it ironically works better to feed into that atmosphere than with its lighter shots. The location choice is well done, it definitely builds that feeling of isolation, history and doom. There’s also nice few throwback references here and there which again give it that homage touch. Towards the end, it does go for an increasingly overt style which doesn’t work as well. Leaning into the obvious side of things rather than playing with the imagination and using subtlety, isn’t as effective.
The performances from the leading trio, Thomas J. O’Brien, Sabrina Ahmed and Joshua Diolosa are yet another element which feels reminiscent of the horror that has come before it. The opening hopefulness and playfulness which slowly deteriorates as their fate begins to reveal itself. It’s a short amount of time, in just five minutes, to really get to know these characters but they do build a good dynamic. You can sense the history to their relationships and that offsets a need to really know more about them. The last test to their performances of course being stepping into the realm of fear and chaos, and they all do well. It’s convincing but no-one takes themselves too seriously, there’s an edge of the silly as it reaches its ending and in that sense it really works to show how they’ve embraced horror and had a good time doing it.
The Confined feels like a loving throwback to the horror of the early 2000’s. It brings all the typically haunted notes but keeps one foot in light-hearted territory. It can go slightly over the top in a few moments and the direction and cinematography feel somewhat hit and miss. However, as a quick, entertaining handful of minutes, it’s solid.