Phobia is a great anthology film with some great scares and big laughs. It features four different horror stories by 4 different directors, each about 30 minutes long. All the directors do an amazing job with the the stylish stories. The first short, Happiness, is unusual in that it has no dialogue what-so-ever, all the information is conveyed through text messages sent to, and from, a girl who is alone, and bored, in her small apartment. Unable to leave due to having a broken leg which she sustained in a car accident. The second story was based around revenge and black magic. The shock here was more the body count and how much gore they could show. You will enjoy if you like that kind of shock.
The third story is a parody of the Sixth Sense and other movies. It is a story about four guys out camping in the woods. One of them tells a ghost story and one of the guys promises that if he dies, he’ll haunt whoever is sleeping in the middle of the remaining three. The fourth film is about an air stewardess who is to escort a corpse who is a princess. As the third story has the suspense, this one has the thrills. Although like the third one, this started off a bit slow but it still manage to thrill me.
So are these films worth your time as a collective whole? The atmosphere in this film is pretty relaxed, with little to no scares or creeps. To compensate, there’s a thin layer of humor running underneath everything that happens. All-in-all, I really liked this movie because three of its directors generated pretty good suspense, which is quite hard to find in today’s horrors, since they’re inclined towards gore and cheap Boo! scares. This represents the short film format at its best, delivering a series of fast paced shocks without worrying too much about the details. I won’t stand here and tell you all four stories were strong but that is a pretty tall order to fill.
Even so, at least two of these tales are strong enough to warrant a viewing by any fans of the horror genre. Phobia or 4Bia, was also strong enough to garner a sequel which I will cover in the coming weeks. In the real world, a fifty percent success rate means a failing grade, but in the context of this film, the two stronger narratives are able to make this a horror movie worth recommending. For film geeks of upscale horror it is very much a treat. You would be hard pressed to find a horror anthology that delivers the goods on all levels: visuals, storytelling, style, humor and scares. This film just proves once again that Thailand is leading the charge when it comes to Asian horror cinema.