Southbound (2015) Review

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This is a film I’ve consistently passed on watching since it’s release mainly because I’m not a massive fan of anthology films. After watching Inside No 9 (reviews here Series OneSeries TwoSeries Three) a British TV anthology show it’s opened me up to giving anthology films a go. I’d heard good things but still went in with low expectations of this film.

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Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence

Writers: Roxanne Benjamin, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Susan Burke, Dallas Hallam, Patrick Horvath

Stars: Probably easier to link to the IMDB cast page

Run Time: 89 minutes

Tagline: No matter which road you choose, it’s all going south.

IMDB.com Link

Trivia – When Mitch and Jack enter the truck stop, Sutter flips her magazine repeatedly and the word “FEAR” is visible on the top corner.

Trivia – The movie “Carnival of Souls” can be seen playing early on at the start of the movie in Roy’s roadside cafe.

Southbound is as I’ve mentioned once or twice an anthology film, however it’s much more thought out when it comes to connecting the separate stories. As soon as one story ends something links to the next story and away we go again, it could be something like a character from the next story seeing and having a one line interaction with the character from the next story. It could be one character’s story ends and they simply pass by the new character and away we go.

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I won’t spoil too much, there’s five plots all involving people on some sort of journey, on the face of it the major thing that links them is they take place in the middle of nowhere and as the title suggests they’re all southbound.

The first story is of two friends trying to get home, they’re covered in blood and have obviously had a tricky night. Their problem is something is stalking them and getting away from that something is proving quite an impossible task.

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Second comes the story of a three woman band, they’re on the way to their next gig but their car breaks down. As with all horrors they’re picked up by a weird ass creepy couple, once back at the couple’s place things take a turn for the worse.

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Then comes the tale of a man involved in a car accident whilst talking to his wife on the phone. This one is the weirdest one as the man receives instructions on how to save his victim from her predicament from a very strange 911 operator.

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Fourth is a story of the supernatural as a man enters a bar looking for his sister, this part was probably my second favourite after the first story and the very last tale. The man manages to find his sister but things are not what he expected at all.

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Lastly comes a family stalked in their home, we are given a hint as to why but things get really messed up going terribly wrong for just about everyone. This story loops back and links us to the start of the film really well but it’s slightly predictable.

The Good

  • Most of the stories are strong especially the first, fourth and last.
  • I loved the way the second story linked in to the third.
  • Good solid acting.
  • Some nice sfx especially for the first and last stories.
  • All the leads in the stories seem to have the same radio presenter talking as we’re introduced to them, he gives hints that he knows what their sins are.
  • The film gives the impression that everyone is either in hell or trapped in purgatory.
  • The film is really well shot, giving a good atmosphere through every story.

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The Bad

  • With anthologies we’re never going to get the level of detail a two hour film provides this leads to us never really knowing what happened to some of the characters.
  • On the same note there’s no real background so no matter what happens it’s kind of hard to really care too much about the fate of the characters.
  • Slightly predictable in a couple of places.

That’s about it, there wasn’t much else that I didn’t like about this film. I wish I’d watched it earlier than I did but for some reason I didn’t, I was impressed with the creature design and effects used in the first and last story I thought it was a unique take on things. This film is a must watch for any anthology fans and in my opinion a must watch for any horror fan. Sure you’ll have your favourite stories and maybe you’ll dislike one but it’ll be worth it for the end pay off.

Overall Rating – 8/10

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