A Taste of Phobia Review

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Fearful

Phobias have driven many horror movies over the years. A Taste of Phobia is indie horror that uses some common and a few uncommon fears as the basis for its selection of mini-horror films. Italian filmmaker Domiziano Cristopharo and UK producer Tony Newton put this project together, exploring each phobia with a different director.

The anthology’s short vignettes, covering a wide range of bizarre and even repulsive phobias, feels long overdue in the horror field. It’s a strong recipe for the macabre and intense, frightening visuals.

Artsploitation Films brings this 2017 anthology to America, assembling 14 different underground horror directors from across the world for their demented takes on different phobias in short films. Barely running 94 minutes, phobias from mysophobia (fear of germs) to mageirocophobia (fear of cooking) receive the focus, each getting their own short treatment. Featuring directors from America, Italy, the UK and other countries, each director takes their short film in wildly different directions. Almost all the dialogue is in English with the exception of one short.

A surprising number of protagonists end up either stabbing themselves or others in grisly deaths

The phobias range from the gross (fear of feces) to the mundane (fear of mazes) and everything in between (fear of sleep). The standout short films include Caetophobia (fear of hair), easily having the creepiest visuals in A Taste of Phobia. One of the more interesting shorts is Astrophobia (fear of celestial objects), which involves a man falling under the spell of a YouTube channel as he develops an irrational fear of the universe and its forces. Of all the shorts, Astrophobia could have been developed into a longer movie.

A Taste of Phobia isn’t for the faint of heart. Many of the included shorts indulge their goriest tendencies. A surprising number of protagonists end up either stabbing themselves or others in grisly deaths. Being indie productions, some of the shorts are less professional than others. VFX for each movie range from fairly nice to spotty, probably hitting a low point in coprophobia (fear of feces).

Like any anthology, there are a mix of good and quite poor segments. One pointless and poorly done anti-American short barely feels related to horror, made more as a political statement than a true horror piece. The best thing is that even the poor shorts don’t run much past five minutes, making the anthology fairly watchable. Some common traits start creeping into each short. Several different phobias result in a protagonist developing hallucinations of their surroundings, leading them to brutally murder acquaintances they see as manifestations of their own fears.

The main feature runs 94 minutes. The 2.35:1 DVD presentation comes with optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles. An active 2.0 stereo Dolby Digital soundtrack offers adequate fidelity and separation. A couple of brief, behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews round out the special features.

Full disclosure: This movie was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

A Taste of Phobia
3

Movie

A decent, if uneven, horror anthology about uncommon phobias. It’s worth a look if you’re familiar with Artsploitation Films’ usual international horror fare or into new horror shorts.

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