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Phobia 2 (2009)

Phobia 2 is composed of five short movie segments directed by five of the best directors of Thai horror films. 


An anthology movie with no wraparound segment? Sure, why not? Phobia 2 (of which I have not seen Phobia 1) stands apart from most anthology movies for a couple of reasons. The first is that the segments are unrelated. Most anthology movies have a wraparound segment that link the other segments together in some way, or a theme bouncing from one to the next. This has none of that. The second reason is that none of the segments are poor, bad, or worse than any other. This is, quite frankly, as close to a perfect anthology movie as you will see. And I don't say that lightly: I am a massive fan of them.

Split into five segments, each part has a different director and different cast - although there is some bleed with writing credits. Novice treads strange ground, with stunning FX and a clever story. The young protagonist Pey is played by Jirayu La-ongmanee (SuckSeed) who does a bang up stellar job. The segment is full of terrifying imagery, and playing a little like Ritual in feel is an excellent start. The second segment, Ward, feels like a play - a single location, tiny cast. It plays for straight supernatural scares - which work - and has a thought provoking finale.

Next is Backpackers. Likely to be the most divisive of the segments as it threads two different genres together - think From Dusk til Dawn. It's stylish, scary, and again, the FX are astounding. Forth is Salvage. This one has a more Asian Cinema feel to it, running the gauntlet of The Grudge style of film making. The small cast is led by Nicole Theriault (Halfworlds) who is superb as the fretting mother, and carries the story to its horrifying conclusion. Finally there is In the End, the horror comedy of the bunch. The segment is damn funny, but also full to the brim of horror.

I can't point to any one thing as a flaw for the film. Sure, some people may have issues with some parts of it - there are sure to be genre choices that people don't favor, and the ending of one of the segments is triggering, and without warning. I feel that, most importantly, the film is scary and fun, with a reliance on story-telling over effects. That said the effects are plentiful and amazing.

I've no choice for this one:

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