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What Scares You?
by Tim Josephs

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Well, it's that time of year again; time for chills and thrills and things that go bump in the night. And sure there are lots of scary fictional monsters and creatures, but for most of us things like vampires and zombies just aren't that frightening anymore because we know they're not real. But what about things that are just as scary that are very much real? Things that we might encounter any day of our lives? Here are some of the most common phobias people have and movies related to those fears. If you do suffer from one of these you should probably avoid these films at all cost.

Arachnophobia - Fear of Spiders
Of course there's ARACHNOPHOBIA, the great William Shatner film KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, and Aragog
and his brood in HARRY POTTER, and Shelob in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Ophidiophobia - Fear of Snakes
There's ANACONDA, SNAKES ON A PLANE, the tomb full of them in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and Voldemort's pet Nagini.

Acrophobia - Fear of Heights
There are several films that have scenes involving heights, but Hitchcock's VERTIGO directly dealt with the fear, and to a lesser more comical extent so did Mel Brooks' HIGH ANXIETY.

Trypanophobia - Fear of Needles
Most any heroin-based film like REQUIEM FOR A DREAM or RUSH would probably unnerve folks with this fear.

Cynophobia - Fear of Dogs
I suppose even MARLEY & ME would make people scared of dogs cringe, but the more threatening of the bunch include the
giant canine behind the fence in THE SANDLOT, Fluffy from HARRY POTTER, and of course CUJO.

Aerophobia - Fear of Flying
Perhaps since 9/11 this fear has taken on a different meaning, and of course there are tons of films with harrowing plane scenes like PASSENGER 57 and AIR FORCE ONE, but for terror purposes probably nothing tops the famous episode of The Twilight Zone with William Shatner that was later reproduced in the movie with John Lithgow.

Claustrophobia - Fear of Enclosed Spaces
Most of George A. Romero's films have a claustrophobic component, especially NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD; Keifer Sutherland gets buried alive in THE VANISHING as does Ryan Reynolds in BURIED and Beatrix Kiddo in KILL BILL: VOL. 2, and
then there's Jodie Foster and daughter stuck in their PANIC ROOM.

Odontophobia - Fear of Dentists
There's THE DENTIST, two Steve Martin films - LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and NOVOCAIN - and Laurence Olivier drilling Dustin Hoffman's teeth in THE MARATHON MAN.

Nyctophobia - Fear of the Dark
Obviously lots of horror movies have scenes that take place in the dark; THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and the scene at the end of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS come to mind, and there's also the ultra-spooky WAIT UNTIL DARK.


Happy Halloween, everyone, and if you're out walking late one night and hear a noise behind you, relax, it's probably not a werewolf, it might just be your dentist.

Which, come to think of it, would probably be just as scary.

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Mike Thomas
Oct 30, 2011 6:30 AM
[X] delete
I love the phobias, man!

But you forgot the singular most important movie-related phobia: Friggatriskaidekaphobia - fear of Friday the 13th! This is a real phobia - look it up.

Although I'm not entirely sure if it's the fear of the day, or those awful sequels, the TV series or the remake of the movie...

Anyway, I really enjoy reading your movie title-themed columns - they're always so clever!
Tim
Oct 30, 2011 10:10 AM
[X] delete
Thanks, Mike. I'm certainly scared of the possibility of more Friday the 13th movies.



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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.


Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns


Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.


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