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Southbound blows away critics in the US


Richard Roeper, Roger Ebert's old sparring partner at the Chicago Sun-Times, calls it "one of the smartest and scariest movies in recent memory." That movie he refers to is the horror anthology Southbound. Rialto Films is releasing the DVD on April 20.
A new omnibus interlocking five tales of terror out on a desolate stretch of highway, Southbound, as the radio host soon makes us aware, is the transition of "lost souls racing down that long road to redemption." Indeed each story made by a different, talented director, is a variation of the theme of guilt. Dark secrets will surface on a long night's journey of the soul.

Opening with "The Way Out" a pair of blood-spattered men (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Chad Villella) thrash a pickup truck to a gas station out in badlands on the edge of oblivion and soon find they are stuck in a continuous loop until what terrorizes them makes its long-anticipated appearance.

"Sirens" finds an all female rock group broken down on the side of a highway before a friendly couple stops to offer them a lift. They shouldn't have accepted. This film blends seamlessly into "Accident" where a young man desperately attempts to save the life of a young woman he has hit with his car. "Jailbreak" about a man finding his missing sister works hinges on a neat reversal and "The Way In" is a disturbing home invasion scenario that lingers in the mind long after its unsettling conclusion. Directors David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Roxanne Benjamin and the film collective Radio Silence each contribute to the movie's uniform eerie desolation.

"Like episodes of The Twilight Zone that a baked Rod Serling might have written after watching Carnival of Souls, these chapters are eerie to the extreme, and seedy enough to make you feel like you're watching something you were never meant to see," writes David Ehrlich for Rolling Stone.

"It's five segments do what they're supposed to do - unsettle you - but as a bonus," raves the review in the New York Times, "they also leave you wanting more."