Phobia

1980

Drama / Horror / Thriller

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 18%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 18% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 4.2/10 10 842 842

Director

Top cast

Kenneth Welsh as Sergeant Wheeler
Alexandra Stewart as Barbara Grey
Susan Hogan as Jenny St. Clair
Paul Michael Glaser as Dr. Peter Ross
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
832.18 MB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 10
1.51 GB
1920*1036
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Coventry 5 / 10

Don't be afraid to watch John Huston's supposedly "worst" movie

If some movie magazine ever comes up with the bright idea of putting together a list entitled "the top 100 most idiotic ways to spoil a movie", than the number 1 spot is undoubtedly reserved for "simply reading the tagline for John Huston's Phobia!". Seriously, if you are considering to watch this film and you haven't yet paid any attention to reading the tagline, well then … DON'T! I mean, guessing the denouement of the film isn't exactly quantum physics, but the stupid tagline just gives away the end twist. Other than that "Phobia" honestly wasn't as bad as I was led to believe, in fact. I almost exclusively read reviews and user comments stating that "Phobia" is a terribly boring thriller effort and undeniably the absolute low point in John Huston's overall magnificent career. Well okay, in spite of all the warnings, I still desperately wanted to see it for two reasons. First and foremost, it might be an inferior John Huston film but it's still remains a John Huston film and they should always be worth checking out! Besides, this is the only horror movie Huston directed, even though he starred in a couple of weird Italian ones like "Tentacles" and "The Visitor". Secondly, and this is truly a personal weakness of mine, the movie poster very much appealed to me. The simply image of a face, half covered in darkness and half depicting people's death struggles is already a lot scarier than the entire content of most other thrillers.

In all honesty, I'm really glad that I took the effort of tracking down "Phobia" and I would definitely encourage other people not to base your judgment on the negative reviews. This isn't a terrific thriller, obviously, mainly due to the slow pacing and continuous predictability of the script, but it nevertheless contains a few good ideas and even a handful of genuinely suspenseful and macabre moments. I found the basic subject matter to be very interesting and full of horrific potential, maybe partly because I have a couple of bizarre and inexplicable phobias myself. Paul Michael Glaser (yes yes, the original Starsky!) plays the acclaimed but slightly controversial psychiatrist Dr. Peter Ross. With the support of his hospital, he started a project to help a test group of five patients get over their various phobias including heights, crowded places, drowning and snakes. Dr Ross' methods are unorthodox and even dangerous, as he literally forces his patients to confront their fears and pushes them quite far into them. Shortly after having received the media's attention, Ross' patients start dying under mysterious circumstances and each one according to their own phobia.

I've been watching horror practically my entire life and I really think that there aren't enough movies that deal with people's fears. "Phobia" is not a great or highly memorable effort, but at least it's decent and attempts to thrive on slow-brooding tension instead of on cheap shocks and gore. The film admittedly has too many shortcomings, like the clichéd selection of phobias and the truly disappointing climax, but several sequences are properly elaborated and the wholesome is definitely worth watching.

Reviewed by gridoon 5 / 10

OK whodunit.

This certainly is not a great thriller (and it never aspired to be), but if you like low-budget B-movies, then you're likely to agree that it isn't THAT bad, either. I happen to think that all whodunits are inherently interesting if they're executed with at least a minimum level of competence, and "Phobia" was directed by the legendary John Huston himself! Far from his best work, yes, but he managed to keep my attention. The "surprise" ending, though, is predictable. (**)

Reviewed by Hey_Sweden 5 / 10

Only really worth watching for the John Huston completist.

Paul Michael "Starsky" Glaser is Dr. Peter Ross in this routine psycho-thriller, which is treated as *just* a pay check movie for the majority of the talent assembled. Certainly nobody brings any real passion or creativity to this script. The script is really not so hot, which is too bad considering that some of the writing talent involved included Ronald Shusett ("Alien") and Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster ("Horror of Dracula"). Overall, the film is lacking in suspense and a truly good story, although the idea of mental patients led to their doom through their own phobias *could* have been better realized.

Ross is overseeing a program in which his patients are forced to confront images capturing their anxieties (heights, snakes, etc.). Then, one of them is blown to kingdom come by an explosive device left inside Ross' own apartment, and this leads to a rash of murders as the cops on the case (John Colicos, "The Changeling", and Kenneth Welsh, "The Day After Tomorrow") cast a suspicious eye on everyone in the therapy group.

Glaser is miscast in the lead and not very good, although the presence of Colicos & Welsh, and the appealing Susan Hogan ("The Brood") as Ross' girlfriend does help matters. Colicos and Welsh play "bad cops" who go out of their way to intimidate the nebbishy Henry (David Bolt, "Videodrome"). Co-starring are Patricia Collins ("Lost and Found"), David Eisner and Lisa Langlois from "Happy Birthday to Me", Robert O'Ree (David Cronenbergs' "Rabid"), Alexandra Stewart ("Frantic"), Neil Vipond ("Kings and Desperate Men"), and Marian Waldman (Mrs. Mac in the original "Black Christmas").

All of this is adequately entertaining at best, leading to a supposed "twist" ending that isn't exactly hard to figure out. Even this finale is executed with a certain lack of zeal.

There *are* worse thrillers out there, to be sure, but people may wonder why Huston would spend (some would say waste) his time filming such a script. At least his name in the credits ensures a definite curiosity value.

Five out of 10.

Read more IMDb reviews

2 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment