The stylistic aping of 70s and 80s horror has become just as much a genre staple as possession films and found footage. More so prominent in so-called “indie” horror (or the more terribly termed “mumble-gore”) you’re now likely to encounter a pleasantly orchestrated synth soundtrack or the possible appearance of wood paneling that reminds you of getting real messed up on Mountain Dew and playing Nintendo Track & Field with your pals until 6:00 AM. Though you just used your hands instead of actually running in place because why wouldn’t you?
Though not specific to that era, anthology horror’s resurgence evokes a similar kind of horror fan nostalgia for a mode of storytelling that brought us Creepshow, Cat’s Eyes, Trilogy of Terror, and any number of comic books. Now comes the latest entry in the trend, Southbound.
Produced and directed by more than a few folks who have had their hands in the V/H/S franchise pie, Southbound features five slightly related tales of terror all set on a rural Southwestern U.S. roadway. The film’s trailer gives us just enough of the range of genre material on display including some subtle and not-so-subtle effects work showcasing both fantastical elements and some down and dirty slasher action. All this is narrated by the wonderful gravelly tones of a radio DJ played by Horror’s Own Uncle Larry Fessenden and a pop song you probably haven’t heard but will definitely be playing at your next Halloween party. Let's hope there's at least some Hill family cannibalism in there for good measure.
Southbound gets a limited theatrical release this February.