Monday, January 20, 2014

Film Review: Phobia 2 (2009)

Phobia 2 (Review)
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...Phobia 2 covers all of the bases of horror."

Phobia 2 (aka 5-way Intersection) is a Thailand horror anthology with five stories: Novice, Ward, Backpackers, Salvage, and In The End.

Novice follows Pey, a young teenager who committed a crime, as he seeks refuge, at the request of his mother, as a Buddhist novice. However, he is reluctant to quit his hard attitude and karma gets back to him. Ward follows Arthit, a biker who fractures both of his legs in an accident, as he spends the night at the hospital. His roommate, who is brain dead, just might have a little life in him yet. Backpackers follows two Japanese backpackers as who hitch a ride and get caught up in a human trafficking scandal that quite literally raises the dead. Salvage follows Nuch, a shady car dealer, who loses her son in her used car dealership -- which has much more than cars waiting for her. In The End takes place on the set of Alone 2, sequel to Thai horror hit Alone, where the dead seem to be walking on set.

Each story in Phobia 2 is unique and creative -- within the film, of course. What I mean is: each story offers something the others don't. Whether it be different settings or concepts, each story is differentiated. I like this because it creates variety. Otherwise, I think this would've gotten bland fast. Fortunately, it doesn’t. Each story offers a nice blend of terror. There are plenty of jump-scares, great suspense, spooky images, gory visuals, and much more; Phobia 2 covers all of the bases of horror. In the case of In The End, there is some refreshing humor in its bizarre concept, and this hilarious humor blends well with its horror elements. Also, I really enjoyed the ending for each film, some are unexpected and even shocking. The stories compliment each other well, and the pace is fluid; everything flows perfectly.

The acting is great. There is a great range of emotion depending on the story, but it usually stays in the good to great acting range. Marsha Wattanapanich plays herself in In The End, and she adds so much life to an already vibrant cast. The special effects are mostly great, some felt out of place, but that was only during close-ups. I did like most of the special effects in Novice, including the large trees. (I won't get into detail to avoid spoilers.) The cinematography is also fantastic, although occasionally the set seemed cluttered during some scenes. The direction and writing is great from across the board. Compressing these stories into these mini-features, without sacrificing quality or horror, is a great accomplishment.

Overall, Phobia 2 is a fantastic horror anthology. Each story is unique and creative, filled with a wide variety of terror for practically every type of horror fan. It is an exciting, refreshing horror film, and one of the best horror anthologies around. I highly recommend this film.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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