February 10, 2016

VOD Review: Southbound (2016)

"This is how more Horror Anthologies should be done."

We love Horror Anthologies.

A lot of them aren't all that great, and some of them are even downright bad, but when they're good, there's almost nothing better to give us the quick, impactful Horror fix that we're fiending for.

Thankfully, Southbound is one of those good ones that delivered most of what we hoped that it would. Had it delivered just a bit more, it would have been an A+ sort of affair, but we're still happy with what it did give us; which was some decent thrills wrapped in an ever-present sense of dread. What more could we really ask for from the people who gave us three uneven V/H/S movies?
Southbound is a Horror Anthology that revolves around a group of people who are pulled into their own living nightmares while traveling down a desolate stretch of highway. Presumably, they're all heading South. Or the title could just be a metaphor for Hell, in which case they could have just called the movie Hellbound, and been done with it.

Anywho, we're going to break down each segment as simple and spoiler-free as possible. 

Two guys are on the run after having done something bad, and they're being chased by some creepy, floating squid-like creatures. What did they do, and why are they being chased? We don't find that out until the final segment, where everything comes full circle. 

This was a pretty solid opening. Nothing remarkable, but solid.

When their tour bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the all-girl band The White Tights accepts a ride from an nice older couple, which of course leads to nothing good. 

This was a good segment that had a truly creepy vibe about it, as well as plenty of great black comedy throughout; it wasn't funny though, so don't get the wrong idea. It reminded us of the Satanic Cult movies that were so popular in the 70's. It's also a pretty bloody segment, with plenty of vomiting, mysterious meat eating, and white milky medicine drinking that turned our stomachs a bit.

Good stuff.

A guy is driving down a lonely stretch of highway in the dead of night, when he hits a girl who wanders into the road. She's hurt bad, and it's apparent that if he doesn't act quick, she's going to die. So he does act quick, doing everything in his power to save her life, which leads him to an empty hospital, where one of the most disturbing scenes that we've seen in recent memory unfolds.

The Accident was our favorite segment of the movie, as it was nasty, creepy, and pretty frigging intense. It's also a cruel segment, which you'll understand after seeing how it unfolds. It also boasts one hell of a nasty, cringe-inducing sequence, which you'll definitely know when you see it.

This one was the high-point of the movie for us.

Danny has been searching for his sister Jesse for over ten years, and he's finally tracked her down to a small, out of the way town in the middle of the desert. When he finds her though, the reunion isn't quite as happy as he expected it to be...

This was the section of the movie that we liked the least. It wasn't bad, mind you, it just didn't have the impact on us that the other segments had, and it ended on a pretty lame note. After all of the "you can't go out there" bullshit, all we get is a bunch of guys in white makeup, and an off-screen scream?

Very anti-climactic.

As a family gets ready to send their daughter off to college, a trio of masked men show up at their isolated house in the middle of the night with other plans...

The last segment of the movie would be the best of them all, if The Accident hadn't been so good. The Way In not only presents its own twisted, intense story, but also manages to tie into the first story (The Way Out) in a very satisfactory way; and we love how it tied in.

This was a solid way to end a solid Anthology flick, and we are pleased.

As Horror Anthologies go, Southbound is at the top of the heap for us. It's not Trick 'r Treat or anything, and it wasn't without its weak points, but it was a thrilling and cohesive ride through Hell that made us want more.

The cool thing about this movie is how seamlessly all the stories flow together. Where in other Anthologies like V/H/S, the stories all have a kind of thrown together feeling, the ones in Southbound are all connected and joined together organically. That was a really nice thing to experience.

We would have liked to have had a bit more info to chew on, as a lot of the cooler aspects of the movie were left ambiguous for the most part. Was the little strip of highway, the hospital, the bar, and everything around them a sort of Hell on Earth? Was it actually Hell? The way we look at it, the Pentagram on the poster makes it all a sort of Hellish Bermuda Triangle of sorts, but that's just us.

And what did the one guy do the the other guy's daughter? We can draw our own conclusions, but a little more info would have added some weight to that segment, which felt like it ended a bit too quickly.  And really, what was the point of the Jailbreak segment? It felt like filler, in a movie that was most filler-free, like it was a "we need one more segment" sort of thing.

Plenty of gore throughout this one, including some impaling, some exploding heads, plenty of stabbing, and once horribly disturbing scene in a hospital that made us wince and turn away more than once. That fucking leg gag...

It's definitely bloody enough for most folks.

Even though there were plenty of attractive women in this movie, there was no nudity on display.

Next time you have to drive through the desert, take a plane instead. Also, the bad shit you do always comes back to haunt you. Always.

Southbound is one hell of a Horror Anthology that got just about everything right, and the things that it got wrong weren't really all that wrong, but more like off a bit. I really don't want to sound like I'm overselling this one (this movie is made my many of the folks who gave us the V/H/S movies, and I had no issue ripping them apart as needed), but it's better than any of them were, and one of the better Horror Anthologies in recent years. It may even be the best one since Trick 'r Treat.

If you dig Horror Anthologies, then you need to give this one a rent.


Southbound is available now on VOD, and in Limited Theatrical release.


There's plenty of eye candy in Southbound; so much so that we gave them their own little Horror Hotties post, which you can check out right HERE.


  1. I was so disappointed in this movie. I read many great reviews of it, including yours, I guess I had the bar set pretty high. I'm not saying the movie didn't look good, or present a good vibe or the acting wasn't good, it was - but each segment was paper thin and left no satisfactory tie in of the stories overall, although I think the film makers thought they did. Just throwing something creepy or out of left field on screen does not do it for me, there needs to be some kind of narrative grounded in reality or of a reality presented. Give me some kind of beginning, middle and end in the plot to follow, not just a mishmash of incoherent, although stylish, chapters.

    1. @Griffin Man and @Neto Ribeiro. Do you guys like A Christmas Horror Story or Tales of Halloween better than Southbound?


    2. Anonymous, haven't seen Tales of Halloween yet, but I enjoyed A Christmas Horror Story and I think it is a little bit better than Southbound.

  2. I gave 2/5 stars to this movie. I felt like the storys were always incomplete, something was missing, you know? I really like the Hospital segment though. That one with the dude looking for his sister was the worst of all and the one with the girls had a good story but not well developed, it lacked suspense.

  3. I loved it. Was the first of the modern anthologies that played it straight - no dumb ass jokes - just old school horror that felt tightly wrapped in it's universe. Plus, there were so many great references to older horror films. I agree with the rating and might even go "A".

  4. I liked it but I guess I just expected so much more after reading this review. It was fun but yeah, some of the segments were like fillers. My favorite was "Siren" and I hope they stretched the story a bit more. Also, those flying creatures were creepy and the idea of being stuck with them in that crazy place is really scary. Ugh. Overall, I enjoyed this.

  5. Haven't checked Anonymous, but I will.

    Example of good Anthology, Wild Tales.

    Ps, love this blog!!

  6. Reading your review shot this up to the top of my list and I got to it Saturday. It was fantastic--dizzying, in a way. So well made and a great flow.

    The story that book-ended the film was a touch weak, especially given that it features the CG reapers. While I felt they looked pretty good, they were nonetheless pretty fake-looking, and set the pic off to a rocky start.

    Such a treat to get a solid pic amid a few slow months. Thanks for the rec!

  7. This movie ended up being completely generic and by the numbers derivative crap. It was hot garbage. I saw the negative reviews from the other sites that cover all movies and aren't strictly focused solely on horror movies and thought, "Yeah well they're probably once again being overly cynical and harsh on a genre they already predominately don't have much respect or appreciation for." But in this instance, they were right and the horror sites were wrong. This movie was a stinker. Very boring. I'm wondering if this is just how bad the state of anthology horror has gotten. To the point that something like this passes as great when in fact it's just a couple of ok scenes in between a lot of forgettable ones. Another one to add to the list of over-hyped horror movies. *cough* It Follows *cough*

    1. Cmon, it follows was really good. Why you didnt like it?
      And about Southbound, I think people in the desert rappresent the common damned described in many portraits of Hell(covered in ashes or dirt, naked, in big numbers and starving).ciao

  8. I'm a bit disappointed. While there were really great and cool moments, about half of the running time I was bored. The hospital segment was awesome and it is sad that nothing else came close. And the ending just didn't cut it. Or wrapped it satisfactory. Ah, to me, that was 3,5/5 stars.

  9. Finally brought myself to watch this movie after seeing the score you gave it. It did not disappoint. Loved how bleak and cohesive it is, and the road trip theme added to the feeling of helplessness. You guys were right, best horror anthology since Trick 'r Treat.