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Cast: Michael Jefferson, Emma Dubery, Sarah Schoofs, Peter Gregus
Jonathan MacKinlay is a man trapped inside his home by his own mind. Suffering from agoraphobia, caused by a car accident that took his wife's life; his existence has been reduced to a monotonous repetition of identical days. As his dread and self-loathing escalate, an onslaught of gruesome visions and twisted, waking nightmares begins to gnaw away at his last shred of sanity. Are these ghastly visions imaginary, private demons…or is he being victimized by a very real entity of infinite terror and unspeakable evil?
"Phobia" is an engaging if not redundant supernatural thriller. But let me back up one second and let everyone know that the art-work for the film has nothing to do with the film itself. I am baffled as to why they would go with such a cover. Now on to the film at hand, "Phobia" tells the story of Jonathon MacKinlay who is trapped inside his home with a severe case of agoraphobia. He became this way a year ago after his wife died in a car accident. Jonathon only has one friend, Taylor who visits besides his doctor who comes once a week. A little later in the film he receives visits from Bree, a young woman who delivers him his groceries. But as alone as he might seem he gets constant visits from what seems like ghosts including his bloodied wife, a strange woman in black and even a man with a knife.
All of it leaves you wondering if these visions are real or if they are in Jonathon's head. I am sure it is meant to keep the audience guessing and engaged but it all gets a bit repetitive after a while. I do not think this will be for everyone. I think mainstream movie goers are going to become bored with the film before the halfway point but at the same time I think Indie fans will like it much better.
I was torn because I was expecting something a bit different. The film manages to create some good tension early on but as the main character begins seeing these ghosts or visions over and over it starts to become a bit too much of the same thing. With that being said I thought it had its moments and there was some creepiness to the story but for me the main reason the film never fell completely flat was the cast. Michael Jefferson is fantastic as Jonathon, he really brings all the feelings and emotions that are needed to his character. And Andrew Ruth and Emma Dubery are both excellent as well as Taylor and Bree.
In the end I was a bit disappointed by the film because it had such a good start and it kind of kept repeating the same things over and over. The ending was thought-provoking and interesting enough but it seemed to take too long getting there. Still I recommend the film to all fans of Independent cinema, it is different and the cast is reason alone to check it out.
Available on DVD with Special Features that include:
You can order it HERE.
Released by RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment
** 3/4 Out Of *****