Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin in Southbound.

Last year was a banner year for the horror genre (It Follows, Bone Tomahawk, We Are Still Here), and 2016 is off to a good and creepy start with anthology offering Southbound.

From the producers of the uneven V/H/S series, Southbound consists of four short films tied together with themes of guilt and dread. It’s remarkable how well the work of four different directors come together in one dread-inducing piece.

The film starts with two blood-covered men driving in the desert as they notice floating death skeletons observing their actions. This segment ends badly; things get stranger and nastier as the film progresses to a story about a female rock band whose members ingest strange meat served by a weird guy (Dana Gould) who is more than likely a Satanist.

This is followed by a dude looking for his sister in an eerie town; it’s the stuff of nightmares. (Oh, that ending!) Then there’s the story of a home invasion during which a family is targeted for reasons unknown. The whole thing wraps up with a tasty twist that caught me by surprise.

This is a low-budget affair, but that works in its favor, because the special effects feel nicely old-school. The score is reminiscent of the work of John Carpenter (many directors go for that vibe, and I have no problem with that), and the performances are solid throughout. There were many moments during this movie when I was legitimately scared and uncomfortable. Bravo!

Southbound is available on demand and via online sources including iTunes and