Michael Nader’s feature directorial debut, The Toll might sound like a bare bones premise on the surface, but the first-time filmmaker puts all his cards on the table, implementing a myriad of layers and macabre reveals that are guaranteed to ensnare your attention from start to end.
Prompting a debate about how blindly trusting we are as a society while resourcefully flipping typical horror villain tropes on their head, The Toll follows a socially awkward driver (Max Topplin) who picks up a weary passenger (Jordan Hayes) from the airport. As they head to their destination the car stalls on a dark and remote road. After several threatening and inexplicable occurrences, it soon becomes apparent that someone, or something, sees them as trespassers, and is ready to exact a deadly toll.
With the film all set to release in theatres, On Demand and Digital this Friday, 26 March, SCREAM sat down with Topplin and Hayes who explained why they jumped at the chance to produce and star in it and how they dived into their characters head-first, “not being ashamed of however ugly those characters might look, and being completely honest on camera.”
Words: Howard Gorman