Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travellers who confront their worst nightmares - and darkest secrets - over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.
In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance.
On a desolate stretch of desert highway, weary travelers - two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation - are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in a series of interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.
As with any anthology movie, the good thing about them is if you find one of the stories unfulfilling, you only have to put up with it for no more than 20 minutes or so before moving onto the next one. That's not to say there were terrible segments here, but some were clearly better than others. Not only were most of the segments nice on their own, but there was an over-arcing storyline tying them all together in an intricate way. This really amped up the overall creepiness of being trapped in the middle of nowhere where 'evil' reigns supreme.
Of the five, "Jailbreak" seemed to be the weak link as a whole and felt anticlimactic. The story wasn't the best, but the real head-scratcher was the way it ended. It was kind of odd, definitely corny, and didn't really seem to tie into the overall story much. I won't spoil anything but I imagine most people will feel the same way.
"The Accident" and "The Way In" are without question the best segments. They were tense, graphic in a good way, and the most entertaining. The Accident was the best because it seemed to be the most plausible (even if it did stretch that notion towards the end). The idea of hitting someone with your car late and night and no one being there to help seems all to real. Amp that up with some grisly imagery & the obscure and you get something pretty wild and entertaining. Following these two are "The Way Out" and "Siren" (if you were a fan of this segment, I suggest checking out the foreign film, "Borgman").
"Southbound" might not reach the heights of legendary anthology movie, "Trick r Treat". Or have a truly memorable segment like "Safe Haven" (VHS 2). But it is an enjoyable 90-minute anthology film that comes together quite nicely when all is said and done.
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