Daphne’s Den of Darkness: 10 Common Phobias (and movies that will trigger them)

Fear is part of our everyday experience. It keeps us alive. But sometimes fears border on the irrational, which is when they become phobias. Indulge in these phobia-tastic horror movies!

Acrophobia – fear of heights

  • Vertigo (1958) – This Hitchcock classic contains scenes of dizzying heights from the point of view of the character, drawing you into the fear.
  • Man on Wire (2008) – Okay, so technically it’s a documentary, not a horror movie, but doesn’t that make it all the more terrifying?

Nyctophobia – fear of the dark

  • Don’t Breathe (2016) – A trio of robbers get more than they bargain for when they break into the house of a blind man.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – This Oscar winning film features a heart pounding chase through the pitch-dark basement of Buffalo Bill.

Cynophobia – fear of dogs

  • Cujo (1983) – The absolute classic dog horror movie, based on the novel by Stephen King.
  • Green Room (2015) – A band becomes trapped inside a bar by a gang of neo-Nazis. The vicious attack by pit bulls will make anyone squeamish.

Astraphobia – fear of storms

  • Twister (1996) – If you missed this classic 90’s film about tornado chasers, make sure to check it out.
  • Take Shelter (2011) – A man has apocalyptic visions of a storm and begins building a tornado shelter, causing the family to question his sanity.

Aerophobia – fear of flying

  • Flight 7500 (2014) – A supernatural force attacks passengers on a transpacific flight to Tokyo. Passengers are stuck thousands of feet in the air with nowhere to run.
  • Altitude (2010) – A group of friends on a personal plane is thrown into chaos when the plane becomes stuck in ascent.

Mysophobia – fear of germs/uncleanliness

  • Cabin Fever (2002) – A group of young adults succumbs to a flesh-eating virus in a remote cabin.
  • Contagion (2011) – Considered one of the most realistic movies about a pandemic, you may find Contagion a little hard to watch right now.

Agoraphobia – fear of going out

  • Intruders (2015) – Robbers find themselves in danger when they realize their shut-in victim isn’t as helpless as they thought.
  • Big Sky (2015) – A girl with agoraphobia must face the great open desert to save herself and her companions. This movie gets extra points for giving life to the real fear of the outside world instead of just showing someone stuck inside.

Claustrophobia – fear of enclosed spaces

  • Buried (2010) – Ryan Reynolds lives everyone’s worst fear of waking up to find you’re buried alive in a coffin.
  • The Descent (2005) – Cavers become trapped on an expedition and must fight for their lives against something sinister that lives in the caverns.

Arachnophobia – fear of spiders

  • Itsy Bitsy (2019) – A family moves into a new home only to be tormented by a giant spider.
  • Spiders (2013) – A piece of an abandoned space station crashes into New York City and monstrous spiders take over the subway.

Trypanophobia – fear of needles

  • Requiem for a Dream (2000) – The real horror of this movie is watching everyone slowly destroy their own lives, but the copious intravenous drug use is definitely frightening all on its own.
  • Awake (2007) – While not specifically about needles, Awake will tap your darkest fears about medicine. The main character is aware of everything that happens to him during open-heart surgery, but unable to communicate because of anesthesia.

What are you afraid of? What movies creep you out the most?

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