PLOT: Five storylines converge on a lone desert highway, as characters are faced with punishment for their previous misdeeds.
As I’ve said in previous posts for 31 Days of Horror, I like anthologies; they tend to work simply because they have more than one chance to make an impression. If you don’t like the first story, you can always just wait for the next one. In the same way that the V/H/S series has been hit and miss for me, so too is Southbound.
One of my favorite anthologies of all time is Trick ‘r Treat, and I think that movie works so well because of one thing: cohesion. Trick ‘r Treat is one writer-directors vision, which is why each story works so well together. Southbound, on the other hand, has a different creative team on each film, and I think that difference keeps this from being a cohesive piece of filmmaking. Some stories really work (The Accident), some don’t (Jailbreak), and some sort of hit somewhere in the middle (The Way In). Fortunately, it keeps a fast pace and wraps up nicely at the end.
To the max. I don’t usually get off-put by blood and guts, but the story “The Accident” has some truly inspired goriness. It’s splatter-filled, but also extremely effective.
Gore Rating: 5 out of 5
It’s kind of creepy, but nothing too innovative. The final film “The Way In” is a home invasion storyline, which always works for me, and “The Accident” is creepy in a dark humor (very dark) sort of way, but ultimately I didn’t find it all too scary. One problem is that there’s some CG work that is pretty spotty, and it could have been creepier, had it not looked so cheap.
Scare Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Sex/Nudity Rating: 0 out of 5
This movie was okay. I think it suffered by leaving a lot of things up to the viewer’s imagination. I’m fine with connecting the dots on my own, but the interconnectivity of these stories sort of suffers, as does the moral compass this film is trying to portray. Why did they let the guy from “The Accident” go? What did the girl from “Sirens” do that was so bad? In a movie in which you’re trying to showcase a handful of people being punished, you should probably let the audience in on their sins. Regardless, I think “The Accident” is a very effective short film and easily the standout of this anthology.
Overall: 5 out of 10