More doesn’t equal better I’m afraid..
Phobia 2 (2009)
Directed By: Banjong Pisanthanakun, Paween Purikitpanya, Songyos Sugmakanan, and Parkpoom Wongpoom
Phobia (aka 4bia) was a great horror anthology so naturally they had to have a sequel and one came in 2009, called Phobia 2 (obviously). Now when you get something right the first time it’s hard to follow it. Phobia was made up of four different shorts that actually ended up clicking well for the overall film. So as you could figure it would be hard to recapture that again, and even harder adding in a fifth short this time around. While results weren’t horrible, they just weren’t as good.
Where as the original had four short stories this time around there are five. They are “Novice” a story of a troubled boy who gets sent off after an accident. He learns that some legends are indeed true. “Ward”, after a young man is in an accident he gets placed in a room with a very strange person as a roommate. “Backpackers”, a plot that follows..well..backpackers that end up in a bit of a zombie twist. “Salvage”, a tale of a woman who lies about the history of the cars she sales. That of course will come back to haunt her. And finally we have THE best story of the group, “In the End” which is a play on horror films, directed by the very talented Banjong Pisanthanakun who directed Shutter and “In The Middle” for Phobia. This one also has some familiar faces from the original Phobia.
The trouble with Phobia 2 is ever short here is average or bad besides the last one which is actually really good. It starts off with “Novice” which I think is one of the worst stories here and it doesn’t get a whole lot better with “Ward”. In Phobia the worst short wasn’t even bad and here we have really bad to kinda bad with two stories and then average with two more. If it wasn’t for the last one “In The End”, I’d say there was really nothing to see here.
Now like the original there’s no opening and closing to sandwich the movie, the first film didn’t need it, here I’m not so sure. There was also little references to one another in the original that I couldn’t find at all here either. Maybe I missed them, I dunno but I was just so let down I guess if there was any they could have slipped by me. The third story “Backpackers” is by no means above average but I think it would have been wise to have at least went with that first. I also think we could have left out “Salvage” all together and had at least a batting average of .500 with this. While the first and second stories aren’t that good, “Salvage” is pretty pointless and by far the worst short here.
To be honest I’m not sure why this actually ended up like it did. Many of the same people who were involved with the original film are brought back but the magic just seems to be gone. Not counting the bloody moments of “Backpackers” and the fun and wink-wink nature of “In The End” nothing here is packed with the interesting twist or coolness that the original film had and it’s really obvious.
So while I’d say for sure just rent it, if for nothing more than to see “In The End” the rest is just average to bad. If they ever have a Phobia 3, and you know they probably will. I hope they learn from this and go back to what made the first one so well made and fun to watch. They give us an extra story this time around but I think they could learn a lesson here that more doesn’t mean better and in the case of Phobia 2 I’m pretty sure less would have been more.
I don’t know what was going on here but it’s a bit of a bore when compared to the other Phobia. I loved the last story, thought the third was watchable, but think the rest is skip-able or just really average. Not the biggest let down of a sequel I’ve seen as of late but very disappointing none the less as a whole.
The Rating (6/10)