directed by Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence
starring Chad Villela, Dana Gould, Hannah Marks
While I’m biased very favorably to road-trip horror, Southbound is an anthology horror flick that definitely delivers. Featured are five great short stories, each of which has a distinctly different style. Another unique and positive aspect of Southbound is the seamless transition between each story. While there are subtle (and clever) connections teased between some of the stories, the primary connection is simply geographical, and the transitions between the two are as subtle as a camera panning to another group of people and a new story begins. It’s effective at keeping the pace of the film up, and the scares, thrills, and blood are all ample.
Through five stories, Southbound is especially impressive because of the variety of stories told. There are classic road-trip horror scenarios featuring creepy locals, the feelings of paranoia, isolation, and mystery, but each short could very well be a full movie if the time was invested. Each story is also wonderfully accompanied by an amazing, throwback soundtrack by a duo under the name of The Gifted. It’s a classic 80s style, lo-fi synth-heavy accompaniment that doesn’t overshadow the film, but is so well done it’s hard not to notice.
Fans of anthology horror such as V/H/S or The Theatre Bizarre should definitely check Southbound out. Each story is extremely well done, the variety is fantastic, and each one tells a fragment of a story that leaves you with a sense of intrigue and desire to see more, rather than frustration. Unlike a lot of anthology films, there is not one short that is a weak link. And without a separate overlying story that anthology films typically have to connect everything, Southbound flows so well and is more than worth a watch.