Southbound is a horror anthology put together by the creative team of Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, and Radio Silence. This collection of films features performances by Kate Beahan, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Susan Burke, Zoe Cooper, Gerald Downey, Karla Droege, Larry Fessenden, Dana Gould, Hassie Harrison, Davey Johnson, Nathalie Love, Hannah Marks, Tipper Newton, Maria Olsen, Kristina Pesic, Matt Peters, Anessa Ramsey, Fabianne Therese, Tyler Tuione, Chad Villella, Justin Welborn, David Yow, and Mather Zickel.
This movie is a collection of five interconnected short films, each with a very unique story that takes you further down a proverbial rabbit hole of horrifying happenings. Each story sends travelers through a mysterious stretch of desert highway where nightmares seemingly to come to life leaving a path of destruction that leaves no one untouched.
The team that put this project together has also had their hands in similar horror collections like the V/H/S series so yeah, they know a thing or two about this type of anthology film making. There is a very clear progression from those films to this one, especially in how the individual films are tied in to an overall narrative. Each of the stories blend seamlessly into the next and, by the time you realize what has happened, you are thrown right into something even more terrifying than what you were already watching.
The Way Out features two men who seem to be trying to get away from something they may have done and what continues to haunt them every step of the way. I like how the tension and weirdness slowly build up and then smacks you in the face before sending you to the next story.
Siren shows how having a spare tire in your vehicle can save lives as an all girl rock band finds themselves in an unexpectedly desperate situation. This is some creepy nuclear era devil worshiping stuff that will creep you out like nothing else.
Accident is a story pulled straight out of the Twilight Zone playbook as a man in a deserted town is directed to a hospital by a suspicious group of 911 responders. If you like a healthy dose of gore in your horror movies then this is the one for you. There are plenty of operating table antics that will have you squirming in your seat and looking the other way.
Jailbreak features a rescue attempt gone wrong as Danny finds much more than he bargained for while searching for his long lost sister. This is probably the darkest of the five segments and comes with a few unexpected twists and turns.
The Way In shows what can happen to a vacationing family when they find themselves on the wrong end of a brutal attack. Of course no one comes out smelling like roses and, as the story heads south and to its inevitable conclusion, you begin to realize just how hopeless it is to be a traveler on this particular stretch of desert highway.
Southbound is better than I thought it would be and does a great job of raising the bar for what can be accomplished within the horror genre. The real key to why I liked this movie so much is that each individual story is really well put together and the fact that they all fit together all Voltron style makes the total package a real treat to watch and a very entertaining surprise.
Southbound is available now through your typical VOD outlets. For my Seattle area readers, you will find this movie at the Sundance Cinemas on February 12th and at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma on 26th. If you appreciate good horror movies, this is one you do not want to miss.