Holidays vs. Southbound? Well, at least I can say I’m a fan of the one I was anticipating and not the one I’d never heard of until it hit streaming.
Want a scare-free horror anthology that isn’t compelling or even fun, and bleeds together nonsensical stories that make even less sense when the film tries to bring it all fall circle? Yeah, neither do I. But now I get the title of this one, because things go south pretty damn quick.
1st story – Two guys stop at a roadside restaurant, something creepy happens in the bathroom so they leave, then they are done away with in two completely different ways. Actually, one guy isn’t even done away with. He sort of just…walks off set looking for his daughter. Probably the best in the bunch simply because there’s a cool monster and some gore.
2nd story – A closed door and a passing maid brilliantly lead us to our next tale. Three girls are on a road trip. When their car breaks down, they hitch a ride with a couple that takes them home for a meal. While this turns into wickedly cliché backwoods family horror (bear trap and all), at least it’s exciting and a bit creepy. It also segues cleanly into the next story.
3rd story – On a deserted road at night, a guy strikes a girl with his car. When he calls for help, a voice – actually a few different voices direct him to a deserted hospital, where they then tell him to operate on her. Don’t expect me to try to make sense of this twilight zone that’s inside another twilight zone. But whatever. One of the voices on the phone carries us to the next story.
4th story – From what I could make of it, some dude with a shotgun comes to break a chick free of her job as a tattoo artist at a bar. At first I thought the other people in the place were demons, but in the end, it appears the guy with the gun is just dragged out of his car by a bunch of shirtless, growling hillbilly bears in need of a bottom bitch for a gang bang. And yet I still wasn’t into it.
5th story – In an effort to pander to the latest trends, Southbound closes with the most basic of home invasion stories. This one is supposed to be special because it links back to the first story. Which I guess implies that all the sinners in this movie are forever trapped in hell, which, in this case is a vicious cycle of horror anthology failure.
I really hope I was just so busy texting my friend about how bad this movie is that I missed some key element that actually somehow makes this a brilliant approach to the horror anthology genre. If I did, let me know, but I’ll probably be busy re-watching Creepshow 3 in an effort to restore my faith in anthology films and put this tragedy behind me.
It’s the one we were all waiting for – an anthology film that gives us a taste of horror for the entire calendar year. So how are the stories…and which holidays are covered?
VALENTINE’S DAY – Beginning from the start of the year, this one is a simple high school revenge story (and a love story!). The scene of the victim turning tables on her bully is so deliciously chilling it would make Carrie White envious.
PATRICK’S DAY – I can’t…even…explain it. Honestly. Too out there for me. I think…a little girl…whose dad is Danny Zuko from Grease…impregnates her teacher…by touching her belly? Anyway, the teacher and the girl both have red hair so…it’s St. Patrick’s Day?
EASTER – One of my favorites in the bunch. A little girl is terrified of the concept of Jesus coming back from the dead. It’s worse than she can imagine when Jesus—um—“partners” with the Easter Bunny….
MOTHER’S DAY – It’s all about the women. A chick gets pregnant every time she has sex—even if the guy is wearing three condoms. So she goes to some sort of women’s retreat to give birth, where the delivery sure makes a good argument for abortion.
FATHER’S DAY – This is a brooding, moody story, and I kind of liked it. A teen learns that her father – who her mother told her was dead – is still alive. So she sets out to find him using a tape recording he left her with instructions on how to get to him. BIG mistake. Creepy.
HALLOWEEN – Forget atmosphere. This one kind of just mentions it’s Halloween and makes a reference to witches and covens. Three young women in a webcam porn house are sick of being treated like whores, so they do something really nasty to their “pimp’s” asshole.
CHRISTMAS – Holy crap, it’s a familiar face. Seth Green stars as a dad who makes a horribly decision to ensure he gets his son the hot gift of the year. Turns out, that gift is a special pair of glasses that reveals things about the person wearing them.
NEW YEAR’S EVE – Begin strong, finish strong. This darkly comic final short has a serial killer getting a real surprise when he goes out with his latest victim on a New Year’s Eve date. Love it.
It’s almost like every other story in this anthology did it for me. I’m kind of surprised there was no Independence Day short, but the movie actually runs an hour and 45 minutes as it is, so that could have brought it up to a full 2 hours (shudder). And while the Halloween short is deliciously perverse, it’s kind of shocking that the most crucial of all holidays to horror fans – in a holiday themed anthology – is virtually void of everything that evokes the mood of the holiday. I’m kind of on the fence about whether or not this one needs to be added to my film collection. Who am I kidding? I’ll add it.