Rating: 2/4 (A decent compilation of horror shorts.)
Phobia 2 (ห้าแพร่ง) is a 2009 Thai horror movie that is a sequel to Phobia. Like the original, it is composed of many short movies, 5 in this case. In Novice, a boy is hidden away in a forest monastery to save him from his crime of killing a person on the road. During a ghost festival, he discovers that he will be made to pay for his karma by the forest ghosts. In Ward, a cocky teenager has to spend a night in a ward with a brain-dead person kept on life support in the next bed. Horror ensues when he discovers that his roommate's soul is looking for a new body. In Backpackers, a Japanese teen couple backpacking through Thailand are beset by zombies. In Salvage, a car dealer who refurbishes wrecked cars from fatal accidents finds her son assailed by the ghosts of the accident victims. The final In The End is a story where a film crew is shooting the last scene of a horror movie. Hilarity ensues when the actress playing the ghost gets sick, dies in the hospital and comes back to finish her scene.
In recent years, Hollywood seems to have run dry on good horror ideas, while Asia has stepped in with fresh stories using its myriad cultures and scenarios. I have never been able to sit through a typical full-length Hollywood horror movie anyway, where the focus has been mostly on gore and scares. Bollywood ventures like Darna Mana Hai and the Thai Phobia series have tackled this problem with innovative horror shorts. Phobia 2 is a pretty nice venture, but nowhere as innovative as Phobia was. I liked Novice for the way it mixed Buddhism and ghosts deep inside a forest. And it was also hard to not love In The End, which features the same comical cast from the awesome In The Middle in the original Phobia. This short is well written and questions all of the cliched horror move twists. Ward had potential, but the implementation loses it. Backpackers is like a Hollywood zombie-fest, which I have no interest in. Salvage too had potential, again lost in mediocre writing. All in all, Phobia 2 is a decent compilation of horror shorts.