Spectrophobia Is Visually Perfect But Lacks In Essence

Spectrophobia. Film Details.

DecayMag.com, Spectrophobia, Neil Stevens

Director: Neil Stevens

Writer: Neil Stevens

Release Date: March 2018

Release Format: Youtube

MPAA Rating: N/A

Genre: Short/Sci-Fi/Horror

Running Time: 3 min 36 seconds


A man with Spectrophobia meets a woman who he teaches him there is nothing to fear. Or is there?


Spectrophobia is a horror short film written and directed by Neil Stevens. You can watch it below on Youtube.

Venezia Zavala as Serena
Neil Stevens as Bryan
Kyle Loskamp as Psychiatrist

DecayMag.com, Spectrophobia, Neil Stevens


Spectrophobia (from Latin: spectrum, n. specio, an appearance, form, image of a thing; an apparition, spectre):  a morbid fear of mirrors and reflections.

The definition of Spectrophobia is described before the synopsis on its YouTube page which is the perfect way to start watching it. Neil Stevens does not merely star as the male lead in the short but he actually wrote and directed it.

I’m going to be straightforward when I assert that Spectrophobia didn’t raise the bar for me. I enjoyed it for the most part but the lack of energy and its authentic essence brought down the feeling of terror and ultimately felt flat.

The cinematography is pretty much perfect with great camerawork, sharp lighting and a brilliant handling of exciting editing time lapses. The editing is maybe the most poignant I’ve seen in a while with the treatment of special sounds to help with the time lapses and their continuity.

DecayMag.com, Spectrophobia, Neil Stevens

The story is plain and compelling, a man has spectrophobia and he seeks the comfort of another human being that would help him get over his fear of mirrors. When he meets Serena, a charming woman, she seems to be the solution.

I appreciated the approach of Spectrophobia by acquiring a narrator during the entire duration but Neil Stevens needed more intensity delivering his discourses to deepen the fear and dread. There were times that I was so into it but every chance I wanted to be scared I was thrown off by the surrounding. Every single scene felt like I was watching a commercial for pills against Spectrophobia. Stevens’ brought too much beauty and perfection into the scenes. Every particular object and each room in Bryan’s house felt that they weren’t used or lived in any way. I was thrown off by how unnatural the decor was. The environment should be an interactive part of the life of the characters even if the short is merely 3 minutes long…

In Conclusion

Stevens has a magnificent background in filmmaking. I watched some of his shorts before watching Spectrophobia and I recognize he has all the qualities to bring more heart into the screen, but unfortunately, Spectrophobia is simply serving its purpose by showing great editing and camerawork techniques without spicing up the life of the characters and their surroundings. Worth a look though.DecayMag.com, Spectrophobia, Neil Stevens


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