The team that brought you the very popular and fan favorite V/H/S and V/H/S/2 come back once again to bring you a new horror anthology in the form of Southbound. Comprised of four new connected stories from directors Radio Silence, Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, and Patrick Horvath that mingle to together into a Twilight Zone-esque desert highway road trip.
The collective group known as Radio Silence spruce up The Way Out, introducing us to two bloodied men, who are clearly on the run from committing some type of cynical action the night before, seek refuge at gas station. Unnerved by what is a unique take on the grim reaper, floating in the air cast in a cocoon-like material, the bloodied men drive off to escape but only find themselves stuck in a loop as the same gas station is passed by again and again. The peril only escalates as the reapers finally attack their targets in horrifying action that will not disappoint.
The second story comes from producer Roxanne Benjamin in her directorial debut with Siren. A girl rock band trio is stranded in the middle of the desert after their van breaks down. With a four hour trip to the closest mechanic, an unusually friendly couple offer to take them to their house for dinner and a goodnight sleep. Reluctantly accepting their offer (remember kids never talk to strangers), they arrive at the couple’s humble abode where things start to look eerie as if time had stood still in the 1950’s. Dinner is served and the story starts to turn into a cliché many have seen before. The Siren still is fun with a bulk of the entertainment coming from the chemistry of our three main leads; Fabianne Therese, Nathalie Love, and Hannah Marks with their fun banter and comedy rolling off them with great ease. The ending still finds a shocking turn which directly leads into the highlight of Southbound.
Accident is by far the standout and the reason to see Southbound alone, directed by David Bruckner (excited to see him attached on the Friday 13th 2017 reboot). While texting and driving Lucas hits a helpless women at full speed. What at first look like a hit and run, Lucas morals turn around and calls 911 where he is directed to bring the half dead women to a hospital. Unfortunately for everyone involved the only hospital around is abandon, so now Lucas must proceed with an emergency operation in order to save the woman’s life. Only being directed by the 911 voice on his telephone, the story takes its twists and turns in a bloody fashion that no one could have predicted.
Unfortunately for Southbound the remaining falls short to everything presented before. Jailbreak, directed by Patrick Horvath, is a simple story with Danny searching for his sister that may not want to be found. There is some fun world building but ultimately leads to nowhere and is left unexplored with an unsatisfying ending.
We shift our way back to the opening segment to see where our two leads came from with The Ways In by Radio Silence. The Way In is a by the numbers home invasion tale with a slight twist that leads directly into Southbound’s opening completing it circle.
The transitions in Southbound differentiate it from other anthology horror films giving it the feel that the stories are contained within a parallel world. Southbound has a clear high with some low lows but is all comes together for a fun time that can be enjoyed with friends or a horror-loving crowd. Southbound will fit comfortably with V/H/S and V/H/S/2 as well as genre classics as Creepshow and The Twilight Zone.