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Monday, February 1, 2016

Quickie Review: Horror Anthology SOUTHBOUND



Well, it's not awful. That was my legit reaction after watching SOUTHBOUND, the latest big screen anthology horror that is basically like watching one long nightmarish evening play out in real time. And this is actually a compliment. Because, well, have you seen the recent crop of anthology horror we've been getting lately? This one at least has a narrative.

In essence, SOUTHBOUND plays off the horror trope of getting lost on the road in the middle of nowhere surrounded by low-key lunatics--some of whom are their friends. I can't say I was ever truly scared watching any of the five interlocking tales, but I remained intrigued throughout (though that could have been attributed to the fact that I kept waiting for something surprising to happen. It never did). That's the biggest problem with this anthology: everything that you expect to happen actually does. The shock effect is missing, and therefore the intensity that drives a great horror film is nonexistent.

But it's a fun film for a rainy Friday night or for a teenage sleepover (seriously, it's perfect for popcorn and pajamas). For that, it's useful.

I'm not sure if veteran producer Roxanne Benjamin plans to expand this into a series, but if she does I'd like to see the production quality amped up. And while there are plenty of fans who love the empty gore of the V/H/S series, I'm going to need something a lot more substantial.

SOUTHBOUND is in select theaters February 5 (and VOD on February 9).

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