Critic Consensus: Southbound doesn't entirely avoid the jarring shifts common to anthology films, but thanks to some thrilling twists and turns, this horror road movie is a surprisingly smooth ride.
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Critic Reviews for Southbound
Abstract and eerily incomplete, Southbound unfolds in a place where Marienbad heads south to the Twilight Zone and Dead End, and where moral failings collide with macabre consequences.
Southbound delivers more than its fair share of pulpy, grisly thrills with its quintet of creepy tales set on a suitably desolate stretch of highway.
Most anthology films have ups and downs. It's almost inevitable. Southbound is more even and has more connective tissue than most, but it does feature one segment that singlehandedly justifies seeing the whole movie.
What makes Southbound stand out is how all-round solid it is, its scary segments joined by a setting (driving through the desert) and a theme (guilt).
Audience Reviews for Southbound
Modern Day Southern Gothic Highway-Based is a very specific theme for a Horror Anthology to tackle, and while none of the segments are bad, none of them stand out as particularly good either.
Atmospheric and amusing. A few jump scares, but it's primarily focused on creating a foreboding mood. Wish the stories were a little better tied together, but they're not unbearably distant. The setting of desert as a gateway to Hell is a great underused convention in horror. Fun late night flick, perfect if you're watching it in a quiet motel in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico.
"I can't see anything!" "There's nothing to see." Surreal, enigmatic and incredibly eerie and uncomfortable set of tangentially connected horror films, that resemble the short stories of Stephen King in tone and content (specifically, those found in Everything's Eventual). The way some of them feel incomplete is perversely one of the film's many strengths. More please.
|Radio DJ:||Well they're going to try to stop you. But you got to keep moving.|
|Radio DJ:||Well they're going to try to stop you but you gotta say 'fuck it' and keep moving. Because this is your highway...|
|Sadie:||This place feels like a bad acid trip|
|Radio DJ:||This is for all you lost souls. Sinners staring that road down to redemption.|
|Radio DJ:||Well, this next one is for you. All you lost souls racing down that long road to redemption and all you sinners running from your past but heading straight into that pit of darkness up ahead.|