Movie Review: Southbound (2015)

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In the same vein as V/H/S or Trick ‘r Treat, Southbound is a 2015 horror anthology. The films takes the form of five short films — “The Way Out” tells of two men on the run from floating, demonic entities; “Siren” is the story of a band’s car breaking down, and the strangers who pick them up; “The Accident” tells of a man dealing with an accidental hit and run; in “Jailbreak“, a man attempts to rescue his sister from a strange town; the final short, “The Way In” is a tale of masked intruders tormenting a family on their holiday. Each short is directed by a different director (except the first and fifth) and run seamlessly into each other, to form a single narrative.

+ the second short, “Siren“, was tense with an interesting though frustrating ending. This short had lots of room for discussion, due to some subtle hints of what happened to other characters, but
+ the third short, entitled Accident, is straight up intense. Very few films actually make me squirm, but the situation, the gore and the fantastic acting by Mather Zickel as Lukas are so engrossing I couldn’t look away
+ the final short, “The Way In” was a similar home-invasion deal not unlike The Stranger. This short was tense, but somewhat standard

– the first short, “The Way Out“, is CGI heavy and not particularly scary, which makes the whole thing stand out as the odd-one-out of the five stories
– “Jailbreak“, the penultimate story, is neither interesting or scary and meanders along to an ultimately unsatisfying conclusion

> the director of the middle (and best) segment, “The Accident“, was responsible for the first segment of the three-segment 2007 horror film The Signal, another favourite.

Should you see this film: One great segment, two good entries and two bad ones make this hard to recommend. I’d suggest giving the middle segment at least one viewing, but to get the full effect you’d have to watch the second. Which means it is worth watching the film just for the second/third entries. Short answer: yes.

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