The New York Times’ article “Five Horror Movies to Stream Now” came at the perfect time. Okay, I didn’t actually read the article; I jotted down the titles and streaming services to get me through Tropical Storm Elsa. I figured the films would be palatable, if not great. I viewed Phobias (2021) first. Initially, I expected a knockoff B grade film, but I was quickly proven wrong. This horror film delivers.
You can take my word for it and stop reading now. Go stream it. Then read the reviews.
The film is divided into short vignettes that are linked by a deranged governmental doctor, who has imprisoned patients who exhibit extreme phobias in an effort to exploit their fears. Each vignette details how the patient came to the facility.
I enjoy opening and closing credits. I play a game trying to link names with prior roles. When Macy Gray’s name appeared, I was confused—was she the same R&B singer? (Answer: It is!) The opening credits also show each writer and director for each segment. This raised a flag. Many films attempting to bring together distinct stories often fail. But I continued watching.
This film is not a slasher film. The gore is minimal, which seems to be the largest complaint about the movie, but present. The film is rated R. The acting is consistent, the other complaint, but may come across as choppy due to each director’s vision—the main issue with these anthology attempts.
The final story stars Macy Gray. And boy does she shine. Phobias fills the void created by COVID binging. It is currently streaming on Hulu.