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Phobias seen in movies

This blog is going to be about Phobia commonly seen in movies. Phobia came from a Greek word called phóbos which means fear or panic. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes a person to encounter extreme, irrational fear about a certain situation, living creature, place, or object. In movies there are usage of phobias to create tension, immersion or just to scare the audience. This type of usage is commonly seen in horrors movies. Sometimes movies are progressing around a certain phobia such as Jaws, Vertigo or even Anaconda by making a certain creature or situation to be more drastic and more intense from the reality. Why does horror movies used phobia in their movies even though people fear them? The reason directors used phobias in their movies are that the purpose of horror movies is to scare their audience but why does people still watch those kinds of movies if it is scary or make them fear? Because it constantly causes stimulation for both physical and mental that cause adrenaline rush in a human body that result in heightened sensations and surging energy.

Acrophobia – Intense fear of height

Acrophobia is an anxiety disorder whenever an individual has an intense fear of height. Most people would feel uneasy or shaky after they look down from a tall height but for those who has acrophobia would have an extreme and unreasonable fear while they are facing a height. That’s also mean that standing near balcony, climbing up ladder or even parking car in a high level could triggered their fear.

Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock

This American movie Vertigo is directed by Alfred Hitchcock was released in 1958 and was categorized as a psychological thriller noir film but at the time the film was on theatre, it was disappointing but as the time passed by, the film got an attention for more and more until 1983. Vertigo which was a disappointment was respect as one of best cinematic achievement ever made and said to be one of best film that Hitchcock himself has created. It is said that people appreciate it because of how intricate the plot is, how flawless and subtle yet profound theme the film was.

The synopsis of vertigo

The movie is revolved around former detective named John “Scottie” Ferguson. Scottie was prompted into an early retirement due to an incident where he and his partner were on duty. Scottie was slipping down the building while they were pursuing a criminal and he lost his colleague while he was trying to help Scottie. That incident caused Scottie an acrophobia which is an intense fear of height and Vertigo which is a false sense in rotational movement. Scottie was hired by his acquaintance whose name is Gavin Eister as a private detective to investigate his wife Madeleine who behaving strangely from usual. This case made him pursue with his own fear face to face. The movie Vertigo has included acrophobia to create a main plot of a movie. Whether or not it was intentional it was for people to acknowledge of the acrophobia disorder it is still one of the best Hitchcock’s movies to this day.

Claustrophobia- An intense fear of a small or tight space

Claustrophobia which is an extreme of being in confined or tight space such as in an elevator, tunnel, subway, crowd room or even a public toilet. Some people would have a mild anxiety but most people who has claustrophobia would lose control, nausea, hyperventilation, chest pain or etc. This phobia can be caused by a trauma from the past such as stuck in an elevator.

Buried by Rodrigo Cortes

This film is an English spoken Spanish film directed by Rodrigo Cortes as a psychological thriller movie released in 2010. It was released in Sundance film festival caused the movies to gather a lot of positive review from a lot of people. In the production of movie, the main cast, Ryan Reynold suffered from claustrophobia during the film creation. The coffin he was in was filled with sand and how the feels like he was buried alive for the most climatic scene in the movies. That made the production crew had a team of paramedics to stand by. Rodrigo Cortes said that he has the movie Rope by Alfred Hitchcock as his inspiration to create this movie.

The synopsis of Buried

In 2006, Paul Conroy an American civilian who worked in Iraq, found himself buried alive in the coffin. He only has a Zippo lighter, a pen and a blackberry in his hand. Later, he realized that he and some other people got ambushed by terrorists in the area and he got knocked after his head got hit by a rock. After he called for help from police, FBI and his employer which none of them helped, He got a called from his kidnapper, Jabir that he demanded a ransom from Paul for five million dollars or he would have been left to died inside the coffin he is stuck in. This movie caused a thriller factor by having a character stuck in a confined place that would cause an audience to feel uneasiness, it is a very creative plot to committed and it worked out well that the film received a lot of positive review. It is a very bright idea to used claustrophobia to be included in the main plot and as a focus point

Apiphobia- a fear of bees.

Apiphobia or the other name which is Melissophobia is an anxiety disorder whenever an individual had an intense fear of bees which could cause the patient to be sweating, nausea or etc. The symptom is triggered by being in contact, thinking, or to see a bee. This disorder could be caused by negative experienced for example, got stung by a bee or a learned experience by acknowledging the threat of a bee.

Candyman by Bernard Rose

Candyman is an American movie created and directed by Bernard Rose in 1992 and categorized as gothic supernatural horror film. The movies received a generally positive review and regarded as a contemporary classic of horror cinema. The movie is based on a shot story called “The forbidden” which is about a Chicago graduate who is doing a thesis about urban legends and folklore. It led her to the story of Candyman, the African American artist ghost who had a relation with the daughter of a wealthy man and he don’t like the relationship caused him to murder the artist by a British playwright, author, film director and visual artist named Clive Barker. The film was produced by the meeting between Rose and Barker after the film adaptation of Nightbreed in 1990, Rose is interested in Barker’s The forbidden and wanted to make a movie about it. Barker agreed to license the right to create the movies. That’s how Candyman was created.

The synopsis of Candyman

A female university graduate student named Helen Lyle who is studied in folklore and urban legends is currently doing research on an urban legend called Candyman, who is a vengeful spirit who killed whoever called his name five times in front of a mirror. He has a hook for a hand and able to control a massive number of bees that live within him. After she heard about the murder case in Cabrini-Green neighborhood, she picked the topic with her friend Bernadette Waish. Waish called Candyman for 5 times Infront of the mirror but nothing happened so they tried to investigate about Candyman story. While they investigate about the Candyman they saw a lot of bizarre events that occurred to people that was similar to what Candyman could or would do to his prey. The story would focus on Helen investigation and to survive from the Candyman. The Candyman trait that was unique and the creepiest is how he got a bee in his body, and we are able to see it throughout the film that could make audience who does not have apiphobia to feel uneasy or creeped out from his action. This uneasiness made an audience’s adrenaline rush.

To sum up! As you can see throughout this blog, we could see that there are a lot and lot of times that a producer and director used phobia to create and represent phobias in a different way to create a creative and interesting story which some are success, and some are not. There are a lot of phobias to work on with too. That’s why there are a ton of movies idea created by phobia. Whether the director and producer purpose were intended to raise the awareness on those phobias, to represent these phobias to the world or even just the entertain purpose. We can’t disagree that phobia is something that has stay with cinematic for a long time as a tool to create tensions, immersion and uneasiness to the film. Even though phobias are seen in movies made us feel uneasy, we could only feel just a speck of how those patient of these disorder feels. That’s why we should sympathize with them on their symptom .


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