Phobic

  • 2003
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror

Amateurishly acted and sloppily written, this bargain basement psychological thriller uses agoraphobia as a gimmick but fails to make anything of the idea of self-entrapment. Teenage Joey Waters (Billy Parish), who lives with his mother, Emily (Jennifer Townsend), is riddled with guilt over the circumstances of his sister's (Sunny Lombardo) murder. She was...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Amateurishly acted and sloppily written, this bargain basement psychological thriller uses agoraphobia as a gimmick but fails to make anything of the idea of self-entrapment. Teenage Joey Waters (Billy Parish), who lives with his mother, Emily (Jennifer Townsend), is riddled with guilt over the circumstances of his sister's (Sunny Lombardo) murder. She was stabbed to death with a bowie knife by a maniac (Anthony Azizi), but Joey feels he should have rushed to her aid sooner. The killer is still at large. The trauma makes Joey agoraphobic, and between visits from his girlfriend, Cathy (Katie Bowers), Joey participates in online therapy sessions with the unseen Dr. Forbes (Vince Donvito). Emily encourages her son to inch toward the front door, but even light streaming through the curtains can set off a panic attack. Cathy shares the good news that authorities have apprehended the so-called "Bowie Knife Killer," but Joey

remains skeptical and housebound. One night, while his mom is at work, Joey hears an intruder. Thinking he might be experiencing an aural delusion caused by nerves, Joey steels himself to peek out the window. Hope evaporates when Joey spots the corpse of his nosy neighbor, Old Man Lars (Greg Allen Johnson), and realizes the maniac is coming for him. Joey repeatedly begs Cathy not to come over as the psychopath torments him by repeating, "I’ll make a man of you." As Joey scurries through the house, one step ahead of the killer, Dr. Forbes makes a house call. The murderer kills Forbes and waits for Joey’s mom outside — Joey must face his darkest fear if he's to save his mother. This claustrophobic thriller places its high-strung hero in the sort of spotlight once inhabited by Barbara Stanwyck and Olivia DeHavilland, but a neurasthenic adolescent in trouble isn't immediately sympathetic as a grand damsel in distress, especially when his nemesis appears to have wandered in from a generic slasher movie.

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Amateurishly acted and sloppily written, this bargain basement psychological thriller uses agoraphobia as a gimmick but fails to make anything of the idea of self-entrapment. Teenage Joey Waters (Billy Parish), who lives with his mother, Emily (Jennifer To… (more)

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