Review – ‘Tobias’ Directed by Lawrence Lee Wallace

Directed by Lawrence Lee Wallace whose previous credits include The Box and The Pieces of David, ‘Tobias’ is an upcoming feature length thriller that stars Ivan Ellis, Edward Williams III, Camille Wiggins and Kelley Holcomb.

Directed by Lawrence Lee Wallace whose previous credits include The Box and The Pieces of David, ‘Tobias’ is an upcoming feature length thriller that stars Ivan Ellis, Edward Williams III, Camille Wiggins and Kelley Holcomb.

Based on the main character of the same name, the film finds Tobias (played by Edward Williams III), a man losing everything he has. As he feels his world falling apart, Tobias’s life begins to spiral out of control. Not only this but serious mental issues also begin to emerge, charting the man on a collision course that will have no happy endings. With people closest to Tobias caught in the crossfire, what follows is a descent into madness as Tobias becomes the horrific force of evil that he was always meant to be.

Tobias’s first and foremost strong point is its direction and script; and Lawrence Lee Wallace manages to tackle both effectively. The writing is deep; it aids its characters in developing organically as it seeks to present a viable solution to the moral dilemma that it offers. Wallace then builds up the script during his direction, punching up some moments while adding more character depth. All this contributes to a film that manages to be surprisingly emotional and hard hitting.

Visually speaking, the film bursts out of its own shell soaring. The cinematography is crisp and the deep hues give the film a distinctly unique look. The cinematographer has done a fantastic job ensuring that the tense moments look and feel as real as possible and those tense, unnerving moments of interaction between characters look as energised and unpredictable as possible. Not only does this help keep the film apart from dozens of similar films in the market, it also makes for an exciting and novel viewing. The visual nature of the violence might make the film disturbing to some but it is in line what the plot is trying to be.

Another aspect that is frequently overlooked by reviewers is the sound design. The sound mixing team has done a terrific job here, invoking a true sense of dread in all of the tense scenes and ensuring a consistent theme of fear and confusion as seen by the victims of Tobias throughout the story. The sound design of a thriller has a significant part in ensuring that the story feels true to its roots and the team here has done really well in this regard.

The acting by the main cast is fantastic and everyone manages to do a stellar job. The star of the show is Edward Williams III as Tobias whose unsettling performance sells the entire film. As Tobias slowly loses his grip on reality, the bodies start to fall. Playing an unhinged lunatic with the tenacity of a Charles Manson type, Williams manages to steal all the spotlight from his peers through his terrific performance and manages to document his character’s descent into madness pretty accurately. Ivan Ellis as Barker is also impressive and Kelley Holcomb

Candice also manages to knock it out of the park. The cast does a terrific job with what they are given and they manage to elevate the script by their nuanced and measured performances.

Also, from costumes to set design, the production looks highly polished in all its aspects. With a seemingly mid-sized budget, it is fascinating to see how the production team managed to make the film look so incredibly good. The interiors are perfectly lit and each aspect of the production elevates the disturbing nature of the story.

Since every single second of the film takes place indoors, the makers had to really play with space and volume to convey the sense of claustrophobia that Tobias manages to inflict onto others with his actions. So, utilising dim light, creative shots and extreme closeups, Lawrence Lee Wallace manages to make the film as disturbing for the viewers as it is for the characters.

To conclude, “Tobias” manages to unsettle you and is worth a trip to the nearest theatre. Lawrence Lee Wallace has made a film that goes to unexpected places, taking the audience along for a fantastic ride into the abyss. The acting is great, the script hard hitting and the overall vibe scary.

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