Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travellers who confront their worst nightmares - and darkest secrets - over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance.
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
On a desolate stretch of desert highway, weary travelers - two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation - are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in a series of interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.
The hospital scenes in "The Accident" were filmed in a non-functional wing of a working hospital. See more »
["The Way In" closing credits radio dialogue]
Regret and remorse, amends and atonement. Well, that's life, right? This next one is for you. For all you lost souls racing down that long road to redemption and all you sinners running from your past but heading straight into that pit of darkness up ahead. We're all on the same endless highway... the one with no name, no exits... looking for a way out of tonight and into tomorrow. Well, they're going to try to stop you but you gotta say "fuck it" ...
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Southbound is unlike most Horror films, belonging to a sub-genre I would define as "intertwined". 5 different stories leading to and deriving from each other: Two friends on trying to get home, a girl band trying to get to their next gig, a man trying to go home to his loving wife, a brother trying to rescue his sister, and a family on vacation before their daughter goes to college. Sufficing to say nothing ends well.
The common ground for the tales is the actual ground, as they all seem to be taking place at the same location, referred to as "the middle of nowhere" and giving a strong sensation of Hell itself. Also, all the characters seem to be tuned in to the same radio station, where the DJ hints of his awareness to their sins and struggles. In each story, the protagonists (if you can call them that) have secrets in an escalating level of severity, and I guess the moral is that Karma always catches up to you.
Seeing as how each story is around 17 minutes in average, it's quite challenging for me to rate the film as a whole. The screen writing is by far the best feature, as the stories leave you confused, wondering, desperate and lost. Some fine shooting and cinematography as well, especially during the beginning of The Accident part (great work from directors and screenwriters Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin). The acting is also good, but the each of the cast is given little screen time, so it's hard to say anything more. I will say that all the cast is largely unknown, and still showed a lot of promise.
All in all, Southbound would appeal to fans of more "artistic" Horror films. It's unusual and quite unique, leaving the audience with an uneasy sense of bewilderment. While not my preferable sub- genre, I was very impressed with it and enjoyed it to the last second.
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