5 items from 2016
An anthology of five interlocking stories that centre on different groups of people journeying on a desolate stretch of desert
Despite the promise of the V/H/S and The ABC’s of Death franchises, neither anthology series quite lived up to the ideas that must have looked wonderful on the page. Not that they were terrible or total disasters – although V/H/S: Viral does veer that way – but they just seemed to miss that vital something that made the old standards such as Creepshow and From Beyond the Grave so much fun, leaving the Halloween themed Trick ‘r Treat and Tales of Halloween as the standard bearers for modern anthologies, but they aren’t necessarily movies that work very well »
- Amie Cranswick
Stars: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Chad Villella, Hannah Marks, Fabianne Therese, Nathalie Love, Mather Zickel, David Yow, Tipper Newton | Written and Directed by Radio Silence, Roxanne Benajmin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath
Southbound opens and closes with Radio Silence’s The Way Out and The Way In (in that order). A book-ending tale that introduces us to two men on the run, being chased across the desert by ethereal, skeletal grim reapers from which there is no escape. Especially when the pair stop at a gas station… We return to the same tale for the closer, discovering why the pair are on the run and why they are being haunted. Radio Silence’s opener The Way Out really sets the tone for the rest of the film, »
- Phil Wheat
*full disclosure: an online screener of this film was provided by Orchard TV. **there is one spoiler after the review. Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and Radio Silence. Writers: Roxanne Benjamin, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Susan Burke, Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath. Cast: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Hannah Marks, Tipper Newton, Brad Miska and Kristina Pesic. Southbound is an indie horror anthology film, from four directors. Patrick Horvath, of The Signal (2007) fame, brings one of four stories. Though, an initial viewing would make the film appear as if it is five short films; the circular ending brings the film back upon itself. Southbound also brings an inconsistent morality to the screen as one good character finds escape, while another does not. The film also keeps its characters' histories and motivations hidden. This makes an interpretation of the plot difficult. But, the writers do agree on a trapped theme. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Allen)
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Fans of the V/H/S series may recall seeing the credit Radio Silence and wondering what, who, how...? Well, as it turns out, Radio Silence is not a Daft Punk type filmmaking robot collective, but a team of four directors who adopted the moniker in the face of a last-minute decision prior to that film's first screening.
What with the inferior “V/H/S Viral” having possibly run that hitherto enjoyable franchise aground, some “V/H/S” alumni plus a few newcomers try a different direction with “Southbound.” This entertaining-enough quartet of loosely interwoven terror tales falls right into the middle ground of horror omnibuses, with no outright duds but no truly memorable (or scary) segments either. Pic opens Feb. 5 in New York and Los Angeles, with another 30 or so theatrical rollouts currently booked after its VOD launch on Feb. 9; it should do well with genre fans in various formats.
The primary link among these suspense stories is that they all happen on or near a desolate stretch of desert road. (There’s also a minor connective thread in the audio-only form of Larry Fessenden channeling Wolfman Jack as a regional broadcast DJ.) In the Radio Silence troupe’s wraparound, “The Way Out/The Way In,” two »
- Dennis Harvey
5 items from 2016
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