I love Horror Anthology movies, from the old school classics like Creep Show and Tales from the Crypt, to the new school fare of Trick ‘r’ Treat, V/H/S and ABCs of Death. I love them all. Being able to collect different tales of things that go bump in the night under one umbrella is genius– especially when done right. Trick ‘r’ Treat definitely comes to mind, and makes me feel like I hit the jackpot at the discount Blu-ray bin. Southbound is no exception.
The first story follows 2 bloodied-up dudes running away from what looks like the Dementors from Harry Potter. These raggedy-looking floating grim reapers follow these guys wherever they go– and we all know, when something that creepy keeps following you, it cannot be good. That’s just the case, as these specters act as judge, jury, and executioner without remorse. It’s a very fun kill scene when one of the hooded ones puts his whole arm down this one guy’s throat. Good times. The last death sentence of the reaper takes place in a motel, where the second story of a rock band on the road begins. The all-girl band gets into a little bit of car trouble, and ends up grudgingly accepting the kindness of strangers. Unfortunately for them, these strangers are part of a satanic cult looking for new members. One of the girls manages to get chased onto a highway where we get introduced to our third story. A man on a drive home gets distracted by his phone and ends up hitting a stranger on the road. The guy sets off to do everything he can to save the stranger. Guided by the voice of the 911 operator, the Good Samaritan and his critically injured stranger arrive at a hospital only for their night of hell to go further down the spiral. The town where this hospital is located within the setting of our forth tale, where we see a brother looking for his long lost sister with very grim consequences. That story ends up at a gas station where we meet stars of our final story, a family on vacation. After getting to their hotel/condo unit, this tale turns into a brutal home invasion story.
I really enjoyed Southbound. The filmmakers took the time and did a really solid job in making sure each story in this collection stood out on their own, while still fitting stylistically into this world they created. Their hard work was evident all throughout the movie, as they managed to make the situations and the characters involved in those situations, solid and intriguing. The filmmakers’ subtlety tied the whole world together, where when one story would end, another would begin out of the wreckage of the previous without intruding on the moment. It’s a neat thing to witness. There was enough violence and gore to satisfy my primal instinct. The operating table scene in “Accident” was one of my absolute favorite sequences of the movie. The tension they managed to build in that scene as the 911 operators are guiding this man, as he tries to save this person’s life is just awesome.
As I said before, I am a huge fan of anthology films in the horror genre. They act as a great vehicle for new and up and coming horror filmmakers to showcase their talent. They also allow the viewer to experience a collective of genre fare, that if done correctly, will leave a lasting impression and make the audience seek out more awesome stuff from that filmmaker. Southbound hits all the marks of a quality Horror Anthology. The stories, the gore, the cast of characters and the solid acting and filmmaking made this movie soo much fun to watch. I for one would love to see a Southbound sequel down the line. Who doesn’t love more stories set in HELL!!! //Arturo Padilla