I really enjoyed the first Phobia (aka 4bia) , a 2008 Thai anthology horror film featuring the work of some of the most popular Thai horror film directors. It had some great ideas, but seemed to suffer from pretty poor special effects and uneven storytelling.
Phobia 2, which actually features five stories, improves on the first film in every way. The special effects are not only better, they’re actually really good. The stories are consistently good across the board, and they all actually have a decent amount of scares to them.
My full review after the jump!
Unlike the first movie, in which the films all had some kind of connecting thread (though it was minimal), each story in Phobia 2 stands completely on its own and pretty much can’t take place in the same universe, it only makes sense to review each piece separately.
Fourteen year-old Pey committed a crime, so his mom decides to hide him in a Buddhist monastery to escape punishment. However, something deep down inside is bothering him. Will Pey’s Karma catch up with him?
This story started off a little slowly, but once things picked up, boy, it gave me goosebumps. The creature of the piece is incredibly creepy, and the sound effects really add to the scare factor. The ending of the story falls a bit flat, though. Still, this was a great way to start the film off and stands as the longest of the stories, at a full half hour long.
Upon graduation, a young Japanese couple decides to hitchhike around Thailand. They manage to get a ride on a truck, but suspect something strange in the truck’s trailer. What exactly is in the back of the truck?
Great execution, not so great story. This story is, essentially, twenty minutes of a zombie movie. The suspense builds up, the zombies pop up, and people die. Story over. The story looks great, and the suspense is there. I just felt like there wasn’t much to the story.
A car dealer makes her living by refurbishing used cars, sometimes with horrific pasts. One night after closing, she discovers her son is missing. Could these cars have memories of their tragic histories?
The weakest story of the bunch, really. There was some great imagery in this one, but it took a little long to get moving, and the wrap up wasn’t entirely clear (though it is pretty vicious, if predictable).
A young man is in hospital for a motorcycle accident. He is moved into a room with an old man on life support. When strange things start happening in the middle of the night, he starts to wonder. Is he really alone?
Man, this one creeped me out. You see the end coming, but this story really did have some great scares, and a perfect use of sound effects to keep you on the edge of your seat.
In the End
Four boys are filming an upcoming horror movie. As they are shooting their last scene, one of the actresses dies mysteriously. To finish the film, they have to have her complete her scene, DEAD or NOT.
This story featured the cast of the most popular story from the original Phobia, who, just like in the first film, do a comedic horror piece. There’s more gore this time around, but the laughs are really there, and the humor works excellently. I loved everything about this story, and the quirky twists and turns it took. My only disappointment with this one is how it ended. It was very sudden and I found myself saying “is that it?” when it ended. Well, yeah, that was it. And it sure was a crappy way to wrap up.
Overall, even if you haven’t seen the original Phobia, you should definitely check out Phobia 2 (which you can probably only get via an import right now). You don’t even need to see it all in one sitting, because the stories can be taken in bite size chunks, or all together as one 2-hour long great horror flick.