Southbound (2015)

Southbound
Segment 1: The Way Out
Director: Radio Silence
Writer: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Segment 2: Siren
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin, Susan Burke
Cast: Fabianne ThereseNathalie LoveHannah Marks, Susan Burke, Davey Johnson
Segment 3: The Accident
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: David Bruckner
Cast: Mather Zickel
Segment 4: Jailbreak
Director: Patrick Horvath
Writer: Patrick Horvath, Dallas Richard Hallam
Cast: David YowTipper NewtonMatt Peters
Segment 5: The Way In
Director: Radio Silence
Writer: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Hassie HarrisonGerald DowneyKate Beahan 
The segments are connected by a radio DJ played by Larry Fessenden.
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.4.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
On the seemingly endless highways of the USAmerican South, several fates cross each other, each set on their own dark path.

There was obviously a lot of thought put into the transition between the segments in Southbound, creating an interesting structure. I certainly appreciated that, though it doesn’t change the usual anthology film problem: some segments are simply better than others. For me, Southbound reached its climax in the middle with The Accident. Overall I wasn’t absolutely enthusiastic about it, but I did enjoy it.

southbound

After the jump I talk about each of the segments individually.

The Way Out

Mitch (Chad Villella) and Jack (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin) are on the run. Something is after them – floating creatures that they don’t understand. But there seems to be no escape for them, no matter what they try.
With The Way Out, Southbound was off to a strong, fast-paced start that I enjoyed a lot. I particularly liked the creature design – a bit like robotic, alien-tentacle dementors – and the circularity.

southbound1

Siren

Sadie (Fabianne Therese), Ava (Hannah Marks), and Kim (Nathalie Love) are in a band together and they are on tour – meaning they drive around in their old van and hit up small clubs and seedy motels. Until their van breaks down and they are picked up by a couple (Susan Burke, Davey Johnson) who seem friendly – at least at first.
Siren worked well for me as long as Benjamin was building the tension and the threat remained fuzzy. But when things became concrete, it lost its strength.

southbound2

The Accident

Lucas (Mather Zickel) is driving after a long day while talking on the phone. All it takes is that distraction for him to hit a woman. He is in the middle of nowhere. In fact, he doesn’t even know where he is exactly. He calls 911 who give him directions to a nearby hospital. But things only get worse from there.
The Accident was tense and extremely effective. I didn’t know where things were headed, and though I had my suspicions, I hardly had time to think about it because the segment moved along at such a breathless pace. And the end did surprise me, too. I really loved it. Not only the best segment in the film, but an excellent short film.

southbound3

Jailbreak

Danny (David Yow) is looking for his sister Jesse (Tipper Newton). He is sure that he will find the answers at The Trap, a bar. He threatens bartender Al (Matt Peters) who agrees to lead him to Jesse. But Danny probably won’t find what he is looking for.
After the film I noted that the last segment was probably the weakest one, but a bit of time has passed since I saw it and at least I can recall the last segment – with Jailbreak it’s as if I had never seen it. And that’s never a good sign, even though it didn’t seem that bad when I saw it.

southbound4

The Way In

Jem (Hassie Harrison) and her parents Cait and Daryl (Kate Beahan and Gerald Downey) have planned to spend the last weekend before Jem leaves for college on holidays together. But their harmonious holiday plans are interrupted when three masked men attack them in their holiday house.
The Way In wasn’t my cup of tea – although it does tie up the film with a neat little bow and a good twist. But the story itself left me cold which meant that the film fizzled out without a big bang, unfortunately.

southbound5

Summarizing: Decent entry in the ever-growing genre of horror anthologies.

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