Southbound (2015)

Score: 5/10 (A for effort)

Length: 89 (though it feels like seconds and hours at the same time)

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, monster, alien, murderer, devil, slasher, hotel, SPOILERS

This is one of those movies where you leave the room for a few minutes or you sneeze, and you now have no idea what’s going on. The story flows from one character to the next, and the only way to remember what is going is on (and still get through the movie) is for me to note one story at a time. So here we go! There are for sure SPOILERS, but I tried not to reveal any of the big secrets.

It starts with two bloodied men driving their truck down the highway, who stop to fill the tank. They soon realize that the floating skeleton monsters following them have trapped them in a time loop and there is no way to escape. One of the men goes into a hotel looking for his daughter in what feels like a dream or delusion that he not going to escape from any time soon. The maid outside tags his door as ‘Do Not Disturb’.

In the neighbouring hotel room, three hungover gals prepare to return their VW van to the road, but it breaks down in the middle of nowhere. A strange couple driving by offers them a room for the night at their old-fashioned country home. The girls dine with the family and their friends (which includes in-sync, creepy twins) and become sick off the meat, causing them to throw-up chunky black liquid. Two of the girls become zombie cult members and the other one escapes only to be hit by the car she is trying to wave down. This could easily have been a mediocre movie on its own, and out of the shorts, I’m going to say that this is the one I’d be most likely to sit through as a feature film.

The driver who hits the girl carries her bleeding and broken body to his car in search of a hospital as directed by a 911 operator. He finds a hospital, but after running frantically down the halls with a barely living body, he discovers that the facility is abandoned. He is instructed to perform surgery on the woman to save her life, but he fails, only to be laughed at by the people on the line. He is then pretty much told to drive away and forget about it. (Is this supposed to be like Saw, but after you make an attempt you get to leave?) As he ends the call, we see the 911 agent hang up the receiver at a phone booth.

She leaves the phone and enters a pub where she argues with the bartender about closing the door. And man suddenly bursts in looking for his sister but is met with mysterious and vague warnings. Holding a man at gunpoint, he is led to his sister who says she doesn’t want to leave the town because it’s for people like her. He drives her off into the desert anyway where he stops the car and then is attacked by naked monster-demon-alien people. She drives back into town. This story is super confusing. There’s so many questions I want answers to that I’m never going to get. I love the whole hidden world idea, but sadly, this is another one of those stories that really should have been a full-length film, simply for the reason that there is too much going on and I need to know more.

A pretty teen in a yellow shirt walks by the woman who has returned the restaurant. She joins her family who are on vacation and stopping to grab dinner. Shortly after getting settled in her motel room, there is a knock on the door and people with masks and knives lurk outside. This starts off looking like a straight-up rip-off of The Strangers, and unfortunately, it pretty much is, without all the magical tension. Looks like the terrible threesome is out to get revenge on something the dad did. We get to see their unmasked faces, but we don’t get to find out what exactly the wrong-doing is (but there are a few guessable options). There are monsters, aliens, and skeleton demons, and that’s pretty much the end.

Even now that it’s over (took me like, three days to get through this thing), I had to read back through the segment descriptions to remember it all. To be honest, I don’t even have a favorite and least favorite. They all had stories that were only partially explained, they all were moderately creative and gory, and they all were nothing special, except for the overall idea of the film as a second chance to escape hell if you will. It makes sense as to why these are shorts and not one full-length films, because as confusing as this was to watch, each segment probably would have been boring and uninspired in a full film. I like the whole concept of the movie and it’s worth a watch but I wouldn’t see it again, and if I did, my head would be heading Southbound as I nodded off.





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