Inspired by my niece's arachnophobia and my own fear of giant bunnies (not rabbits, but people in bunny suits), we thought it might be nice to start a little phobia guide. You know, search for your phobia while movie-hunting and avoid any ugly surprises. Of course, disaster films cater directly to the common phobias, with claustrophobia topping the list. All of the Irwin Allen films have claustrophobia as the star, with smaller phobias in supporting roles (fear of fire, fear of drowning, fear of bees, etc.) With "Snakes on a Plane" you get two at once, but at least you're warned. It's the films that don't spring a phobia on you until you're already ensconced that are the most dangerous, therefore, this list doesn't include films that announce the phobia in the title.
Here's an early start:
Bunnies, Giant: Inland Empire
Buried Alive: Kill Bill, Superman: The Movie, The Vanishing, Blood Simple, Mad Detective
Cleithrophobia: Papillon, Bad Ronald
Crustaceans: The Tingler, Multiple Maniacs
Cyclophobia: Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Drinking (Dipsophobia): Leaving Las Vegas
Heights: Vertigo, The Dark Knight, Darkman (with live action stunts!)
Judy Davis, fear of: Celebrity, Naked Lunch (also fear of bugs, fear of drugs, fear of poison)
Little People dressed as babies: The Unholy Three, The Wizard of Oz
Mannequins: Any "Wax Museum" film*
Names (nomastophobia): Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Reservoir Dogs
Planes, Plane Crashes: Fearless, Lord of the Flies (double whammy: in the ocean!)
Rats: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (also rhytiphobia, fear of wrinkles, and dipsophobia, fear of drinking); Herzog's Nosferatu
Sciophobia (fear of shadows) - all film noir and horror movies. Sorry.
Single: (Anuptaphobia- Fear of staying single): The Old Maid, The Women, Sex and the City (which should be avoided even without phobias), Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Spacephobia: another whole genre, gone.
Teutophobia (Fear of German or German things) Triumph of the Will, Olympia, The Producers
"Dead of Night" is chock-full: fear of mirrors, fear of ventriloquist dummies, fear of being forgotten (Athazagoraphobia), fear of physical punishment, fear of amnesia, fear of death -- I can't think of another film that has so many phobias in one tidy package, although John Waters movies - especially "Polyester," do an admirable job.
*Also that Madonna movie where she pours hot wax on Willem Dafoe.
Phobophobia: FEAR OF PHOBIAS!