[31 Days of Halloween] Day Twenty-Three: BD's Horror Anthology ‘Southbound’

At first glance, Bloody Disgusting’s Southbound appears to be a desert road trip kind of anthology, therefore making it an odd choice for this week’s Devil’s Night pick. While the desert road trip description is apt, the five interlocking tales all share central themes of death, sin, redemption, and purgatory. A perfect fit for Devil’s Night.

Directors Radio Silence, Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, and Patrick Horvath have assembled a series of segments that continue to expand a very intricate world that begs for multiple viewings. As the film progresses, each segment brings that world into sharper focus. It makes for one of the most unique horror anthologies out there.

That means we have plenty to discuss tonight, during our live-tweet of Southbound!

Join us at 7pm CST, where we’ll hit play and discuss the movie on Twitter using #BloodyHalloween. As always, join us!

Synopsis: On a desolate stretch of desert highway, weary travelers are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets. Two men on the run, a brother desperately searching for his long-lost sister, a vacationing family, and more are all connected by interwoven tales of terror and guilt on the open road.

Key Players: Look for Radio Silence members Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin as Mitch and Jack in segments “The Way Out” and “The Way In.” Fabianne Therese, Hannah Marks, Nathalie Love, Susan Burke, Davey Johnson, and Dana Gould feature in “Siren.” Mather Zickel plays Lucas, the central character in “The Accident.” David Yow stars in “Jailbreak” as Danny, a brother looking for his missing sister. Indie horror master Larry Fessenden voices The D.J., a narrator heard over the radio throughout.

Why It’s on the List: Most horror anthologies play like a short story collection. A series of self-contained segments strung together with a wraparound story. Southbound opts to do something entirely different; all of the segments occupy and overlap the same space. Each one builds upon the last, making one cohesive movie that still operates within the anthology framework. The way that it’s crafted means that you’ll notice some new detail every time you watch – details that enhance the story and its peculiar universe.

While each segment offers up something for everyone, from creatures to gore, the connecting question seems to be whether you can manage to get out of your own way to find redemption. How that can be much harder than it sounds. In other words, Southbound is a well-constructed horror anthology with thought-provoking themes.

Paying Death’s Toll: The earliest segment, “The Way Out” introduces the unique desert road on which everything takes place. As well as the Reaper-like creatures that keep watch. Mitch and Jack have clearly been up to no good, and an argument leads to one of the creatures swooping in to collect a soul. In a seriously painful way.

Where You Can Watch: Southbound is currently available on Hulu, so join us tonight for the live-tweet at 7pm CST/8pm EST! Just hit play, follow us on Twitter and be sure to use #BloodyHalloween.

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