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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Phobias (2021)

Film Review: Phobias (2021)

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Five dangerous patients, suffering from extreme phobias at a government testing facility, are put to the ultimate test under the supervision of a crazed doctor and his quest to weaponize fear. 


Written & Directed by Joe Sill

Robophobia (from Czech word robota, meaning “drudgery”) is the fear of robots, drones, robot-like mechanics or artificial intelligence. It frequently results in a panic attack and can be triggered by viewing a robot, being near a robot, or even just talking about robots.


Written by Maritte Lee Go & Broderick Engelhard

Directed by Maritte Lee Go

Vehophobia is the fear of driving.


Written & Directed by Chris von Hoffmann

Ephebiphobia is the fear of youth or teenagers.


Written & Directed by Camilla Belle

Hoplophobia is the morbid fear of guns and firearms.


Written & Directed by Jess Varley

Atelophobia is the fear of not doing something right or the fear of not being good enough. In other words, it’s a fear of imperfection. 


Phobias is five different segments about phobias. Out of curiosity, as usual, I did look up a few phobias. There are quite a few sites that list A-to-Z phobias. They talk about how phobias are among some of the most common mental illnesses. If you dig deeper, there are four categories for people who have phobias. The sites list these A-to-Z phobias with everything from “agoraphobia – fear of open spaces or crowds to verminophobia -fear of germs.”

The first segment starts with, Robophobia, directed by Joe Sill. Robophobia is the fear of robots. Johnny (Leonardo Nam) is trying to make his way home and this obnoxious group of guys begin to harass him. He is just trying to get home. It’s sad. This bullying mentality is horrible.

This obnoxious group gets Johnny and they beat him up, call him degrading names. Dirk (Micah Hauptman) is the leader of this obnoxious group. What is wrong with society that hate has become so acceptable? Why is this okay? It should NEVER be okay. Johnny arrives home and he is beaten and bleeding and finds another form of abuse. A couple across the hall from him is fighting.

Johnny is taking care of his father, Jung-Soo (Steve Park). He’s a calm soul. Johnny is working now and he is contacted by someone on his computer. The world we live in is all digital and all-seeing. Something digital is helping Johnny? It’s killing people. Johnny is taken by Dr. Wright (Ross Partidge). Dr. Wright calls for Jones (Sisa Grey) to make Johnny feel at home.

Now we meet this connected group. They are being kept in a government testing facility. We meet Emma (Lauren Miller Rogen), Alma (Martina Garcia), Renee (Macy Gray), and Sami (Hana Mae Lee).

Vehophobia is written and directed by Maritte Lee Go and Broderick Englehard. Vehophobia is the fear of driving. We meet Sami (Hana Mae Lee). Sami is doing the driving. The car is acting like Christine. The radio comes on, the window keeps opening. It’s as if the car is possessed. Maybe she should ditch the car. Now she keeps seeing someone in the backseat of the car.

Ephebiphobia is a fear of youth or teenagers. It gets creepier and creepier. Everyone is connected in the film. They are all a part of this group that Dr. Wright is seeing. Now this teacher is being tormented by a few angry teens.  These creepy teens are hiding in her house. Blaire (Mackenzie Brooke Smith), Isaac (Benjamin Stockham), and Grady (Joey Luthman).  They want to kill her for having an affair with their father.

They go back and forth with the scenes to reveal who is in the government testing facility. It’s more of a nightmarish, torture place. Dr. Wright (Ross Partidge) is terrifying.

Hoplophobia is the morbid fear of guns and firearms. This segment is written and directed by Camilla Belle (When A Stranger Calls, Dollface). Each person has done something horrible or they have had some kind of horrific experience. Alma (Martina Garcia) is having horrible flashbacks. Her son is playing a video game and it triggers her. Alma and her son Carlos (Anthony Gonzalez) are out to breakfast and Alma seems to have such bad PTSD or something.

So far, each segment is beautifully shot. Each segment is unique.

Atelophobia is the fear of not doing something right or the fear of not being good enough. In other words, it’s a fear of imperfection. Atelophobia is written and directed by Jess Varley.

Renee (Macy Gray) is having a meeting after being berated by her father. Macy Gray is amazing in this role. Renee invites a group of her people she works with home and well they don’t last long. Renee has her very Dexter kill room set up. This is unnerving.

This film shows everything from stress to imperfections. What some people deal with every single day. Renee is trying to rebuild herself? I think this film also shows what we ignore in society.

Vertical Entertainment will release the horror/thriller film PHOBIAS in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on March 19, 2021.

PHOBIAS in Theaters, On Demand and Digital. 

PHOBIAS stars an ensemble cast of Leonardo Nam (“Westworld”), Martina Garcia (“Narcos”), Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect), Lauren Miller Rogen (Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town), Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect) with Macy Gray (The Paperboy) and Ross Partridge (“Stranger Things”). The movie is a filmmaking collaboration that explores extreme phobias and is executive produced by Radio Silence, the filmmaking team behind Ready or Not and the upcoming sequel to Scream.

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