Phobia 2 (2009)


After diggin' Thailand's 2008 horror anthology titled Phobia, I knew I had to visit the sequel as soon as I could. Luckily I was able to get my hands on it and I wasn't disappointed. It's yet another refreshing look at the anthology format that although doesn't necessarily deliver the most original of storylines, it still manages to give us some memorable and enjoyable scenes and characters.

6/10 - "Novice" by Paween Purijitpanya

Opening the anthology is Novice, which follows a troublemaking young teen who inadvertently causes the death of passenger in an oncoming car after hurling a rock at the windshield. In an attempt to escape the law, the teen goes to a secluded Buddhist area and becomes a monk to repent for his sins. Although he's able to run from the laws of man, he'll find himself answering to another type of punishment thanks to the local ghosts. Despite some dodgy CG, this tale was pretty creepy at times, especially when it came to the look of these "hungry ghosts".

6/10 - "Ward" by Visute Poolvoralaks

This second story is the shortest entry in the film that revolves around a young man who finds himself spending the night in a hospital bed after a motorcycle accident. He's forced to share the room with an old man in a coma, whom seems harmless to the young motorcyclist..or is he? Despite supposedly being in a coma, the motorcyclist starts fearing for his life when the old dude tries to strangle him. While the nurses shrug off the motorcyclists claims as hallucinations, the young man must fight for his life before it's too late. This was a pretty simple tale that definitely has some creepy elements. My only problem with this is how short and simple it was. There really wasn't much to it.

7/10 - "Backpackers" by Songyos Sugmakanan

This tale turned out to be like a Thai 28 Weeks Later, as we follow a couple lost Japanese tourists hitching a ride with a truck driver. The driver's erratic behavior is worsened once it's revealed that the cargo behind the truck is actually people being smuggled through the country. To make matters worse, they all end up dead due to a mishap with some illegal drugs. Next thing they know it the many corpses are reanimated and the driver and the tourists are running for their lives. Although not the best story in the bunch, it's definitely one of the more gory and entertaining ones, especially once the zombie aspect is revealed. Those suckers were hissing and sprinting like crazy.

5/10 - "Salvage" by Parkpoom Wongpoom

This turned out to be the weakest story in the anthology--we follow a selfish and conniving car saleswoman who stays working late one night while he lets her young boy run around the dealership. She eventually loses sight of him causing her to search within the lot for him, but in this process she's also haunted by visions of past victims that owned the various used cars in the lot. The idea that each used car was haunted by its former owner was neat and resulted in a lot of interesting scares, but none of them were really proven effective for me. Add the fact that there's no likable characters and it ends on a pretty dark note and it's unfortunately one of the weaker entries.

8/10 - "In the End" by Banjong Pisanthanakun

The final addition to the film is surprisingly also the anthology's best. The tale follows a meta formula as we focus on a film crew on the set of the (fictional) Alone 2. The actress playing the lead ghost is revealed to be sick to the point of collapsing and is rushed to the hospital where she is suddenly pronounced dead. While struggling to find a replacement in time to finish the final sequence, the crew discover that the young actress is back on the set. Whether it's her ghost determined to finish the scene or the real actress struggling to continue, they go on with the filming. Hilarity and scares ensue! What makes this entry the best is sheer entertainment it offers by being a parody of itself and films like it. The comedy works and all the leads are likable, and while the scares aren't meant to actually scare the viewer, they're still effective in their own way. The story is also quite refreshing and funny from start to finish. Phobia 2 definitely saved the best for last.

Fans of Asian horror or anthologies in general should definitely give this a look. Thanks to all the creative stories, it works as both a creepy watch and an entertaining parody.
Fans of Asian horror or anthologies in general should definitely give this a look. Thanks to all the creative stories, it works as both a creepy watch and an entertaining parody.