Atelophobia Deep Narrative With Cliché Characters

Atelophobia Film Details Joe Lujan Atelophobia

Director: Joe Lujan

Writer: Joe Lujan

Release Date: 8 October 2015 (USA)* *According to IMDb

Release Format: VOD

MPAA Rating: N/A

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 90 minutes

Social Networking: Facebook


Meredith is a girl who so desperately tries to fit in with the beautiful people. A group of beauty pageant girls that have been friends since they were kids. When her attempts fail, and the bullying laps over into adulthood from these girls, Meredith snaps and begins a terrifying life or death game with the girls who treated her so horribly. They must either kill themselves or live their lives with some sort of “imperfection”.


Atelophobia, the fear of imperfection. In today’s culture, the term of perfection implies individuality. With the influence of social media platforms, individuals can forecast their unique style, art, and commentary. In doing so opens perfection in said art form or subject. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are excellent platforms to strengthen confidence with targeted audiences. Yet, what about those individuals that plunge into the darker side of mainstream media? Television commercials peddle the latest cosmetics and diet programs which in a subliminal form will affirm the obvious, your features and form are not perfect.

The translations of perfectionism and fear thereof, in modern society, are limitless and can steer in many directions. Filmmaker Joe Lujan expresses his rendition on the subject through his film, Atelophobia.

Impressions Joe Lujan Atelophobia

On the surface, Lujan expresses topics on harassment, victimization, and vanity. For the average spectator and/or critic this would be obvious areas to examine and delve into. Yet, the essence of this production conveys topics of sins and its repercussions against ourselves and externally.

The sadomasochistic visuals presented work as a metaphor expressing impacts our corrupt self-centered choices have. Religion, in its straightforward form, does not take part in Lujan’s brutal tour de force. Yet as a grim work of fiction, the dogma of humility and avoiding sinfulness have the same tone.

While the blood, gore and accompanying annoying cries of torment are evocative of common snuff films. Yet, nothing presented in Atelophobia seems typical for the average consumption of Horror content.

Its not everyday hard-edged visuals arrive on the marketable side of indie films. Yet, camera work, lighting, and set design set Lujan’s film apart from typical ninety-minute extreme showcases. The merger of lighting gels and color grading done in this film had the artistic feel of an Industrial or Goth music video. The wardrobe consisting most of lace and leather also reinforce this dark aesthetic, almost BDSM imagery.

Atelophobia has forms of originality to some measure in its narrative conveyance. The cliche in this film is established with the group of attractive women chastising a full-bodied female. In this story, the tortured becomes the tormentor with the victim turning the tables on her aggressors. The tale feels traditional in its method, sometimes basic plots work and in this occasion, it may or may not. I would have favored another option to tell the tale of vanity and sin that did not concern a commonplace set of characters. Joe Lujan Atelophobia

As for the performances, the acting was rough but tolerable. While most of the acting involved screaming and vulgarities there is little to weigh in on sophisticated acting skills. The slate of adversaries is frightening from a visual prospect but their representation is flat with basic dialogue and cheap excitement. There is insufficient intimacy given to absorb the intellectual aspect of the tormentors. With the ringleader, everything presented for audiences to connect with was on the surface.

I would have favored a rich plot to integrate the powerful visuals. Most viewers would consume the vengeance and threatening attitude of the narrative but there is something else waiting in this plot. Atelophobia is imaginative there is no contradicting that, but the approach seems hollow and too direct. The weakness here is the personalities and their interpretation.

Atelophobia excels with the practical effects area and the scare factor depending on the viewer’s tolerance to violence may come across as frightening. Yet, for seasoned Horror audiences, Atelophobia provides nothing regarding fright factor.

In Conclusion:

Atelophobia has the heart of an artistic music video coupled with strong multi-leveled commentary. Where the roles and acting lack the practical and cinematography shine. Lujan developed great material for the indie Horror scene, one that bridges the gap between senseless violence and fierce storytelling.

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