Spencer (Max Topplin) works for a carpooling whose app interface looks like a dating service. He can swipe over photos of people to decide whether to take them or not. We see him turn down a tech brother and an older man before choosing an attractive woman. He picks up Cami (Jordan Hayes) at the airport before he finds out where she wants to be taken. After putting in the address, Spencer mentions that it’s a long drive deep inside. It’s 2 a.m. and this strange man leads an unarmed woman to her father’s cabin deep in the woods. We immediately think that “nothing good can come of it” and, to our surprise, that thought also crossed Cami’s mind. She has more self-preservation skills than most horror movie characters, even though she’s still dumb enough to get in a stranger’s car on a late night trip to the middle of nowhere. .
I’m surprised that the emergence of the ridesharing business hasn’t resulted in some more spooky features about people ordering an Uber and getting chopped into pieces before they can rate their driver. For a hot minute, “The Toll” seems to be leaning in that direction, because Spencer is a hell of a nutcase. He asks inappropriate questions, comments on the beauty of his passenger’s profile picture, and casually mentions that he hunts “the primitive way”, with a bow and arrows instead of a gun. When Cami asks what he’s hunting, Spencer lists several animals, including humans. As Cami wonders if she would survive if she suddenly opened the door and jumped out of that moving car, Spencer awkwardly tells her “that was a joke!”
“I’m always afraid of being raped and murdered when I have a car,” says Cami. “I’m always afraid my passenger will kill me,” Spencer told him. In such a lazily written movie, you can’t help but consider that one of these scenarios will be used before they go. When Spencer’s car stalls on a dark road in the woods, a road that was not in the way to daddy’s house, Cami is sure her driver is crazy. Finding multiple photos of herself and her family in her car doesn’t allay her fears.