Anthology exceptionally crafted

“Southbound” is a film of endless horror and terrifying imagery, presented in the form of an anthology.

Containing five interconnected stories that all take place along a deserted road that heads south, the film displays guilt as the centralized theme. Each of the shorts in the film are directed by an independent horror filmmaker.

The opening short, “The Way Out,” follows two low-life criminals speeding down a purgatorial desert road. This short has a continuation with the wrap-up titled “The Way In,” following a family vacationing in a rental unit, who soon become the prey to outside home invaders. Playing with the idea of an endless cycle, the filmmaker Radio Silence manages to play with the character’s heads as well as the viewers.

Bleeding into the next short perfectly, director Roxanne Benjamin’s fun and campy tale “Siren” begins. Following a girl rock band, the trio hitches a ride with a couple after their tour van gets a flat tire. The lead of the trio, Sadie (played by Fabianne Therese), grows suspicious of the couple’s activity, slowly distancing herself from the rest of the cast.

Next up is director David Bruckner’s “The Accident,” a gnarly short that follows a distracted motorist, who hits a pedestrian. He holds a call with 911, questioning the operator’s motives to help the situation. The motorist is then forced to operate on the victim in a nearby abandoned hospital in order to save the victim’s life.

“Southbound” has one short that fails to really bring the same level of excitement as the others. Titled “Jailbreak,” the short follows a brother in search of his missing sister. He manages to get himself wrapped up in an underground society of demons, who all end up taking human form. Though a creative idea overall, director Patrick Horvath fails to bring any terror or excitement to the short.

“Southbound” contains a soundtrack that matches the eerie feeling of the film by presenting 1980s-esque tracks that are synthesized. Giving it a classic quality, the music harkens back to the classic horror films of the 1980s.

Seamless editing allows the stories to flow together perfectly. Presenting the deserted and horrific world to the viewers. The editing also benefits the scares in the film. Unlike horror today, “Southbound” takes its time with the suspense that is created in the scenes.

The film is filled with unknown actors, and in some cases the performances are great and believable. Others, however, fail at creating an actual character. The best acting is shown in “Siren,” where Fabianne Therese gives one of the better performances in the film.

Despite the few detours in “Southbound,” the film is an exceptionally-crafted horror anthology. Whereas many other anthologies fail at connecting their stories, “Southbound” manages to tightly tie in all of its stories. Fans of horror should certainly check this title out. The film is currently on a limited theatrical release, but viewers can find it on Video on Demand, iTunes and Amazon.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Keith Kennedy at torch@valpo.edu.

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