May 31, 2016 | Rome, Italy | Partly Cloudy 25°C
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Action

MI-5 (Spooks: The Greater Good)

An outgrowth of British TV, Bharat Nalluri's espionage thriller is direct and workmanlike.

Drama

Third Person

The quest for deeper meaning leaves Paul Haggis' ambitious drama stewing in its own juice.

Carol

Todd Haynes has become an expert in bringing the style and values of the American 1950s to life.

99 Homes

Ramin Bahrani's movie about eviction woes is a small masterpiece of greed and tension.

Spotlight

Tom McCarthy's superb "Spotlight" is just as much about journalistic doggedness as sexual abuse.

Horror

Spring

If you like the tourism-horror genre, don't miss out on the girl vampire in Puglia.

Honeymoon

Engaging performances from Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway save Leigh Janiak's debut.

Thrillers

Spectre

James Bond continues to go through the motions, but his commitment is growing questionable.

The Invitation

Karyn Kusama's horror-thriller has its moments, but fails to make the most of lingering menace.

Science Fiction

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Disney takes over from George Lucas and makes a capable fantasy mostly bereft of thrills.




Date: 2016
Directed by: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence
Starring: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Kristina Pesic, Fabianne Therese, Nathalie Love, Hannah Marks, Dana Gould

Southbound

In case you were wondering, purgatory has its own FM station, 106.1, with a gravely voiced DJ who appropriately tells listeners, "Every road has to end somewhere, am I right?" He is. "The end" — at least as portrayed in this five-part compendium of interlocked horror tales — is a stretch of godforsaken California desert highway where anyone trying to outrun a past sins will soon find himself stuck in a bloody version of Groundhog Day.

Death toys with mortals, no matter what they do. Two men fleeing a revenge killing are stalked by skeletal avenging angels, and when they run out of luck, their misfortune is extended like contagion to a touring girl-band, one of whose members harbors a bad secret, after which we meet a scraggly and ill-fated rescuer in search of his long-lost sister who once he finds her is met with an annoyed confession — she rather enjoyed committing a series of family murders, she tells him, and, more to the point: "This place wants me and I love it here." Goodbye, brother. Finally comes the stabbing of a family by men in Hollywood masks, which gives the original revenge killing and its aftermath its looping logic.

Directors Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and the Radio Silence ensemble have engineered a spooky circle game composed of haunting and bloodshed, some of it wonderfully chilling. Problem is, once purgatory makes its presence amply known there's little to challenge either its dominion or its repetitive efforts to get even with human transgressors. Hell hath no fury like an American highway, five times over, with gusto.

Reviewed by: Marcia Yarrow
Day and Boarding International High School in the Heart of Rome

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