Movie preview – Southbound
– Shawn Conner
Southbound opens this weekend at Vancity Theatre. Among the actors in the new horror anthology is David Yow, lead singer of punk band the Jesus Lizard. In a Facebook post, Yow describes his role: “I am a grizzled, shotgun-wielding brother in search of his missing sister!!”
Anthology veteran Roxanne Benjamin (V/H/S, V/H/S/ 2) produced the film and makes her own directorial debut. Other directors include Patrick Horvath (The Pact 2) and V/H/S collaborators Radio Silence and David Bruckner (who, in this writer’s opinion, contributes the strongest piece: “Accident,” about a 911 emergency call gone horribly wrong).
According to the media release, the filmmakers “worked together to form a larger story, and even pitched in on the production of each others’ segments. These interlocking tales of terror and remorse are rooted firmly in the logic of Twilight Zone and EC Comics morality plays, each one winding seamlessly into the next. The result is original, cohesive, and consistently fun — a Möbius strip of ghoulish frights on an endless road.
Last year, Southbound made the film festival circuit. It was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival, the Sitges Film Festival, theFilm Society of Lincoln Center, Fantastic Fest and AFI Fest, picking up numerous accolades along the way. (Scroll below to see critics’ reactions.)
If you want to know more about the anthology, the media release describes it thus:
“Weary travellers confront their worst nightmares — and darkest secrets — over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway in this spooky anthology that merges five tales of death and mayhem on the open road.
“Mitch and Jack are on the run from their past when they turn up, blood-splattered, at a lonely roadside diner; an all-girl rock group called Siren must rely on the kindness of strangers when their tour van breaks down at the side of the road; a harried business-man is desperate for help from an unusual 911 operator in the aftermath of a car accident; a frantic gunman bursts into a bar demanding to know the whereabouts of a girl in a photograph; all hell breaks loose when masked men interrupt a family vacation.”
The cast includes: Kate Beahan, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Susan Burke, Zoe Cooper, Gerald Downey, Karla Droege, Larry Fessenden, Dana Gould, Hassie Harrison, Davey Johnson, Nathalie Love, Hannah Marks, Tipper Newton, Maria Olsen, Kristina Pesic, Matt Peters (Orange is the New Black), Anessa Ramsey, Fabianne Therese, Tyler Tuione, Chad Villella, Justin Welborn, and Mather Zickel.
“This anthology of five horror tales is the rare group effort without a dud, as it cruises through variations on the genre with style and confidence.”
– Nicolas Rapold, FILM COMMENT
“Southbound should well please genre fans nostalgic for the likes of Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow. ”
– Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“An anthology film that doesn’t just divide itself into shorts but works cohesively as one vision… Kind of a cinematic miracle.”
– Brian Tallerico, ROGER EBERT.com
For a complete list of showtimes visit viff.org.