“Are you guys Russian or something?”
Kat’s rating: There is something about an open-road horror movie that just greases my wheels
Kat’s review: Southbound is a glorious horror anthology film, which, lucky for us, is partially directed by some of our best and brightest who gave the world V/H/S, V/H/S 94, and V/H/S 99! Which reminds me, I really should rewatch those films.
Anyway, back to Southbound. With five different storylines, Southbound is like a haunted roller coaster, with five coasters all crashing towards the same destination: a desert wasteland brimming with creepy twins, satanic cults, and alcoholic demons. The film follows an almost 24-hour timeline, getting darker as the night falls, all tastefully narrated by a velvety-voiced radio DJ who may as well be Satan himself.
Southbound speeds through its storylines pretty quickly, which is great for me and my short attention span. Honestly, this might be a great movie for our TikTok youths. Fifteen-minute movies wrapped up in one full-length film, it’s perfect for them.
Each story shares a common setting: the isolated and heat-soaked desert. One can almost feel the heat radiating through the screen. The actors are all sparkling with sweat, and a yellowish haze hangs over the first half of the movie. Everyone that is introduced in Southbound seems to harbor some kind of secret that becomes increasingly more apparent and grim as the stories go on. It becomes apparent that this desert road is some kind of purgatory waiting room to the gates of hell, and the deeper the characters travel, the more likely they are to come upon some not-so-cool demons.
We don’t get too much time to delve into the intricacies of each satanic cult member or prank phone caller, so character development is thrown out the window. The middle of the film features the strongest stories.
One which particularly infuriated me is titled “The Accident.” We are introduced to a man named Lucas who may be the dumbest rich guy to ever come close to the fiery pits of hell. The man literally did the one thing you’re not supposed to do when someone has been blasted by a vehicle, and that is move the damn body! You learn that in like 2nd grade Lucas, get it together. This part of the film felt eerily similar to the movie Compliance, where a woman is on the phone with the police and does whatever they tell her to. Low and behold the police end up being prank callers. Lucas is put in this same scenario, blindly following orders over the phone with his dumb headphones dangling everywhere.
Other than that particularly rage-inducing part of the film, everything else is just good old-fashioned horror.
Southbound is a fun and entertaining movie with gruesome death scenes, interconnected storylines, and some deeply annoying demons that laugh way too much. While you may find yourself confused at times, as no one story ever truly gets wrapped up, just sit back and enjoy this sweltering ride through hell.
- Lukas is a grown man who doesn’t know the word “convulsing”? Come on dude, the person on the phone is asking what this woman is doing, SHE IS CONVULSING ON THE STREET/SEAT/TABLE!
- The ice cream shop was called “Freez N’ Over” HA!
- Pro-tip; don’t take rides from strangers.
- Watch out for the hospital scene, there’s an unnatural bending and snapping of a certain body part that is quite… grotesque.