film reel image

film reel image

Monday, March 22, 2021

Phobias 2021 * 1/2 Stars


"Let's get you hooked up". No thanks. I'd rather eat liver and onions.

Anyway 2021's Phobias is my latest review. It features singer Macy Gray, Leonardo Nam, and Alexis Knapp. Now does Phobias have anything to do with actual phobias? Not the simple ones mind you (fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of snakes). Was Phobias more fun to imagine than it was to watch? Uh-huh. And is Phobias one of the worst outings of this year? It's only March but yeah.

Terror-filled but not really scary and visionary but totally fitful, Phobias makes you stand up and say, "I could probably shoot this thing better and I'm not even a director". Helmers Camilla Belle and Maritte Lee Go thought they could take Saw and 1995's Strange Days and mesh them together. They thought wrong because Phobias for all its grim ambition and held-against-one's-will stature, is a plodding mess.

Belle and Lee Go fashion Phobias as a horror film that feels too elaborate for its own good. There are flashback scenes that go on too long. There are supposed payoffs that never happen. There's hate crime elements that are probably wrong for this present time. Finally, there's an abrupt ending that feels rushed and pasted on. I studied the running time of Phobias (85 minutes) wondering how the heck the filmmakers were gonna wrap this thing up. Yeah the bad guy dies eventually but do we really give a rat's butt? Uh no.

Phobias is confusing, poorly edited, and disjointed to the nth degree. In order to figure out what was going on, I actually needed to look at the flick's wiki entry (patients at a government testing facility are examined to provide an answer to weaponizing fear). Bottom line: Minus a trippy opening credit sequence, my biggest "phobia" is having to sit through Phobias again. "Fear factor" crapshoot.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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