Like a snake eating its tail, this collection of five horror stories set in a desert purgatory seamlessly transition from one to the next before ultimately wrapping back around to the beginning again.
A suspenseful story of two bloodied men trying to escape hovering grim reapers opens the film before cutting to the trio of bandmates with a traumatic past that hitch a ride with the wrong couple.
From here, we get a grisly moral tale of a distracted driver who hits a pedestrian and tries to mend her broken body. In the same supernaturally spooky town, a shotgun-toting drifter attempts to rescue his kidnapped sister. Finally, masked home invaders hound a seemingly innocent family.
Overall, directors Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and filmmaking collective Radio Silence do a serviceable job of linking these disparate parts and creating tension. Yet Southbound, which opens at the Digital Gym Cinema on Friday, Feb. 12, feels like an incomplete exercise in Twilight Zone pastiche. If you're down for 90 minutes of blood soaked comeuppance, satanic cults and alternate realties, then the film might be of interest. Otherwise, non-genre aficionados beware.
Speaking of the Digital Gym Cinema, as of Friday, Feb. 5 the exhibition space that has been programming excellent films for the last year or so will be projecting new releases with a brand new DCP system. When asked about why the upgrade was so important, Programming Manager Moisés Esparza said, "This will ensure that our theater continues to champion and be an exhibition platform for unique and visionary cinematic content." Founder Ethan van Thillo concurs: "It's really our way to express our gratitude to those who have been fans of our space since the very beginning."
This is great news for San Diego filmgoers.
Deadpool: In this bad boy superhero film Ryan Reynolds plays a former special forces operative who is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers.
Ingrid Bergman in Her How Words: This behind-the-scenes documentary looks at the life of the famous actress through rare photographs and interviews.
Mojave: A suicidal artist meets a homicidal drifter in the desert and the two become embroiled in a cat and mouse game. Screens through Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Southbound: Five interconnected horror stories about comeuppance and revenge unfold in the desert. Screens through Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Tumbledown: A young woman (Rebecca Hall) must come to grips with the death of her husband after meeting a brash writer (Jason Sudeikis) who challenges her notion of grieving. Screens through Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Where to Invade Next: Michael Moore’s latest documentary examines the social services of European and African countries in order to address some of America’s pervasive institutional problems.
Zoolander 2: Two dimwit fashion models must work together to fend off another agency that wants them destroyed.
One time only
Brokeback Mountain: Two cowboys played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger form a relationship while out on the range. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Arclight Cinemas La Jolla.
Zoolander: Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play clueless fashion models that must thwart the evil plans of a diabolical villain trying to orchestrate an assassination. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Spectre: Daniel Craig’s James Bond finally comes face to face with the nefarious international terrorist agency that has plagued his efforts for years. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 and 13, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
The Room: Dubbed the worst film ever made by anyone with eyes, this misguided melodrama looks at the pitfalls of a San Francisco love triangle. Screens at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Ken Cinema.
The Notebook: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams make doe eyes at each other in this romantic adaption of the famous Nicholas Sparks novel. Screens at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at the Arclight La Jolla Cinemas.
Dirty Dancing: Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Not even The Swayze. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.