31 Days of Fear: Southbound

fiw-southbound

The Road Less Travelled

by Brody Rossiter


 

Interweaving five distinct and subversive contemporary fables, 2015 horror anthology Southbound, strips away the sheen of modern Hollywood shockers and catapults the ingenuity of its indie filmmaking ensemble to its impactful fore.

Featuring a series of bizarre, thrilling and repeatedly shocking features that isolate various contrasting characters in a surreal visage of the everyday world, the omnibus is a disturbing race to the bottom, that mangles both the human form and spirit.

Despite evident budgetary constraints (the CGI is passable) the film remains stylish and distinct in terms of its presentation. The gory practical effects are perhaps its primary method of personifying dread; they are explicit and troublingly authentic throughout. Compound fractures rip, jaws tear and thick black goo splutters from characters’ mouths. Yet despite the violent trend that bleeds between the interconnected tales, the storytelling remains clear-cut and consistently adventurous in its exploration of all things unexplained and evil.

A driver’s visceral struggle to save a woman he hit with his car, a nuclear family with a taste for the occult, and a desperate duo’s attempts to flee the past are but three of the satisfyingly grim shorts on show. As the film screeches towards its home invasion finale, your senses will be tingling with morbid fascination and your nerves will be shot to pieces. Southbound is the sum of its five chaotic road movie parts, together, they equate to an alluring and horrific collection of horror.

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