Horrortoberfest ’18 Day 25 – Phobia 2 (2009)

This is a Thai movie with 5 different stories in it. I never saw the first Phobia but I have to imagine that in a horror anthology, there isn’t going to be plot points you need to know from one to the next. It doesn’t have an interstitial narrative through line for the shorts but each of them does manage to work in a car crash as a central plot point even if it isn’t the main focus.

“Novice” is the first story of the film and follows a young delinquent that is hiding out with Buddhist monks because he killed someone by throwing a rock at their car. Not sure if killing them was originally part of the plan or they were just being assholes and fucked up but there you are. This is probably the most “foreign” of the shorts but even with some concepts that generally aren’t widespread here, like hungry ghosts, it still manages to be easy to follow and employs some good scares. The ending was a little baffling but that’s possibly just me not getting something.  3 out of 5

The next up is “Ward”, as in hospital ward. After a guy gets into a crash and has his legs operated on, he has to spend the night next to a dying old man. Then things get spooky and the dying guy is some kind of cult leader and it’s pretty obvious from early on that the whole point of this thing is that the guy is going to try to possess the other person’s body. And indeed he does.  2.5 out of 5

“Backpackers” is about 2 young Japanese hitchhikers trying to get a ride. They hitch a ride with a large delivery truck but it turns out that the cargo they are hauling is dead bodies. Also, the dead bodies are being used to smuggle drugs. Also also, the drugs turn the dead people into zombies. It’s a fun if fairly standard zombie story without any big twists or reveals. It was interesting that English was apparently the language they used as a common tongue between the Thai and Japanese characters.  3 out of 5

After that we hop over to a used car lot for “Salvage”, a story about a saleswoman that is taking cars that were in fatal accidents, refurbishing them to look new, and then selling them to customers without telling them about the car’s history. If you immediately thought that the cars are haunted then good job, you did it. The only real wrinkle to the story is that she has her son on the lot with her and he goes missing so she has to brave the haunted cars to find him.  2.5 out of 5

The last story is “In the End” and it is definitely my favorite of the bunch. It takes place on the set of a horror movie and it gets all kinds of meta. The main directorial team discusses a lot of twist options for the end of the film and I think the actual short ends up using all of them. It’s got some decent scares and fake outs for what’s happening and also manages to be comedic with nobody sure who’s dead or not and it’s just ridiculous.  4 out of 5

In all, an interesting look at some non-American horror. Not a lot was truly unique but all of the shorts were well directed and they all managed to have some good effects and jump scares.

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