Southbound (DVD)


Southbound-artworkStarring Kate Beahan, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Susan Burke, Zoe Cooper, Gerald Downey, Karla Droege, Larry Fessenden, Dana Gould, Hassie Harrison, Davey Johnson, Nathalie Love, Hannah Marks, Tipper Newton, Maria Olsen, Kristina Pesic, Matt Peters, Anessa Ramsey, Fabianne Therese, Tyler Tuione, Chad Villella, Justin Welborn, David Yow, Mather Zickel

Directed by Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Roxanne Benjamin, Patrick Horvath

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Southbound (out on DVD today, May 17th) is an anthology film, which makes it difficult to rate – one story I’d give five stars to, and others two or three. Overall, I think it’s close to four stars because of its cohesion and flow (mainly of blood… rivers of blood!).

Although it’s made by the guys – and a gal – who brought us the shaky-cam found footage flotsam of V/H/S and its spawn, Southbound is thankfully cinematic and well-acted.

Here’s how it unfolds: Through the soothing sounds of a radio DJ (voiced in velvet and sandpaper by Larry Fessenden), we learn of a place that lies just south of here. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere consisting of a gas station, a diner, a hospital, and a few derelict structures that can’t be identified at a glance. There are some neighborhoods, too, but believe me: You wouldn’t want to live there. Or die there, which is what most people do.

By far the best, most suspenseful, hair-raising, and bloody chronicle in this five-tale terror trip is “The Accident,” written and directed by David Bruckner. It comes along in the middle, just as the stories are starting to sag, giving the viewer a much-needed shot of adrenaline… not to mention other implements found in a hospital. When a hapless motorist driving southbound on a lonely stretch of highway hits a woman who’s stumbled onto the two-lane blacktop, she’s hurt. Bad. He calls 9-1-1, but of course this is no ordinary dispatch. Taking the broken and bleeding victim to the nearest hospital, the frazzled fella is instructed on the phone by the emergency operator to do all sorts of things. Horrible things.

Southbound begins and ends with “The Way Out” and “The Way In,” both directed by a collective known as Radio Silence. Their first segment has the most noticeable CGI and dark fantasy elements in the whole film, making it feel reminiscent of The Mist. The same two characters pop up again at the end for “The Way In,” showing us how these two desperadoes found their way into the town in the first place. It all comes together quite nicely.

“Siren,” directed by Roxanne Benjamin, follows an all-girl punk band who, while traveling to their next gig in a classic Mystery Machine van, break down far outside town. Far enough that they can’t walk, and there is no way their old heap can be driven. Soon enough, a nice couple driving by stops and offers them a ride. Too bad.

“Jailbreak,” directed by Patrick Horvath, was my least favorite of the stories, but it does have sort of a “Twilight Zone” vibe to it a lot of people should enjoy. Danny has been searching for his sister for over a decade, and when he finally finds her in a bar on the outskirts of the southbound town, their reunion isn’t quite what he’d hoped for.

The special features on the disc include a commentary, some deleted scenes and outtakes, and a photo gallery. Standard fare, but they make a nice companion to the tales.

Southbound has a gritty, unsettling, yet strong, interconnect feel to it. It reminds me of something that would have been made in the 1980s, and that’s a very good thing!

Special Features:

  • Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes Reel
  • Outtakes Reel
  • Photo Gallery
  • Film
  • Special Features
User Rating 3.21 (24 votes)


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