Set in the English countryside, Philophobia depicts small town adolescence. One week of school remains for Kai, an aspiring writer, and his friends. How they spend this time will cost one of them their life and leave them changed forever.


Guy Davies


Matthew Brawley (story by), Guy Davies
13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Harry Lloyd ... Mr. Jackson
James Faulkner ... Mr. Hurt
Joshua Glenister ... Kai
Kim Spearman ... Grace
Kate Isitt ... Sammy's Mum
Jack Gouldbourne ... Megsy
Alexander Lincoln ... Kenner
Charlie Frances ... Sammy
Grace Englert ... Emma
Elizabeth Healey ... Lill
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jen Bird Jen Bird ... Lisa Silver
Jennifer Bird Jennifer Bird ... Lisa Silver
Marc Danbury ... Phil
Andrew Golightly Andrew Golightly ... Invigilator
James Graeme ... Head Teacher


Set in the English countryside, Philophobia depicts small town adolescence. One week of school remains for Kai, an aspiring writer, and his friends. How they spend this time will cost one of them their life and leave them changed forever.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


(n.) the fear of falling in love


Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Filmed in many of the locations including the school where the writers grew up. See more »

User Reviews

21 December 2019 | by marv-62863See all my reviews

Coming-of-age novels and films are a dime a dozen. In the latter category my favourites are Bambi and American Graffitti and, from over the pond, If...

Being commonplace mean writers struggle to find a new take, avoid well-trodden ground, and to say something that has not been dramatized many times over. Even more so when the story comes from personal experience and the writer/director can fall into the trap of believing that their own life is uniquely interesting, and that an audience will be captivated.

Kai (Joshua Glenister) lives in a dead-beat town in rural England, a place where love is heterosexual and the drugs extend to a bit of weed. It is a universal adage that when being raised in the stifling boredom of the boon-dogs, brainy kids like Kai want to escape and reinvent themselves elsewhere.

He and his friends are still in high school, they are tackling their final exams, and the results will determine whether they are trapped in this town for life, or whether they can cast off the shackles never to return.

The story unfolds through Kai's eyes and this inevitably leads to the second great theme of this genre. Love. It's in the title too: Philophobia is the fear of falling in love, although this does not appear to be a problem for Kai as, at the start of the film, he watches from his bedroom window as Grace, the local hottie (Kim Spearman), undresses in the house opposite. Despite her having zero personality, the girl of his dreams is, unfortunately, already hitched. Her boyfriend Kenner (Alexander Lincoln) is a bit of brute, the type of guy you really wouldn't want to mess with or meet in a dark alley. (We know he's a brute as he wears manky shades, an even mankier fur overcoat in the height of summer, and is mean to his women.) Still Kenner isn't interested in personality. He wants a living sex doll to satisfy his carnal lust.

And that's the story: will Kai do well enough in his exams to escape and, at the same time, can he steal the girl of his dreams without Kenner pummelling him into the ground? (NB: it is very quickly established that Kai is the only one who in fact wants to escape.)

The action takes place over a few weeks in the story - and over two hours in the film - and is played out by an ensemble cast, and a stag.

The ensemble are Kai's school friends, a mixed bunch that includes Megsy (Jack Gouldbourne)s, ginge-headed, regular Joe comedian from Wales. (Correct: he hasn't got a lot going for him so he has understandably resigned himself to spending the rest of his life in this town.) Chang (Windson Liong ) is another friend and is essential to the sub-plot as he is Chinese and as all Chinese look the same (yes this joke (sic) is said in the film by the way) he won't be recognized when a bit of foolishness takes place as the friends organize a final piece of mischief to celebrate their final day at school.

The stag (uncredited) has appeared in a long list of films, some good and some bad, and plays an enigmatic cypher that would have done Michelangelo Antonioni proud.

There is not a lot more I can say about the storyline as this would give away what little drama is found in this gossamer thin plot - a plot that possibly was a straight lift from the writer's teenage diary: 'I got up, cleaned my teeth, went to school, had a laugh, played with my mates, went back home, went to bed dreaming of this girl.'

So who should see this film? Not you. I have seen it twice on your behalf and believe me, I have lost five hours of my life that I will never regain. However, if you are a budding author, writer or film maker then go, and use it as a movie version of 'Clichés for Dummies' so you know what NOT to include in your masterpiece. Believe me this film is a series of clichés from start to finish. Hundreds of them. In it might be due an entry into Guinness World Records. In fact not one scene is cliché absent, I write with my inner voice rising.

I could leave it there but that would be unfair even though I had to sit through over two hours of mind-numbing baloney at a Festival where the organizers should know better. And twice, as I wrote above, because I wanted to just check that the worst film I've seen in a long time was not some bad dream and I'm being unfair.

But let's be constructive here. Since I saw it in October, it has picked up some awards. Bravo. The music is strong, and the cinematography stylish. The cast act their hearts out as they battle the script. Surely it can't be that bad. I'm afraid it can.

Firstly it has nothing to say although it should be applauded for the neat trick of making a coming-of-age story as dull, vacuous, and unmoving as creek water.

The use of these poor actors was a waste: cardboard cut-outs would have sufficed as it would be pushing it to suggest that the characters as written are even one-ink)dimensional. There is no sense why they have formed a natural group of friends other than none of them appear to have fathers (pushing things statistically I think), I had no sense of what the town they lived in was like other than it appeared to be in the middle of some pretty country, and was patrolled by a policeman out of Hot Fuzz. Frankly I didn't connect with any of them one or care where they would end up once they'd graduated from school.

There is a rather nasty vein of voyeurism running through the film (I've just clicked - perhaps that's why the stag appears); the girls appear to be no more than clothes hangers who get their clothes off and take part in some decidedly poor taste sex scenes. (OK so it will appeal to middle-aged men who wear cowboy boots and untucked shirts but who don't want to be seen entering a strip joint.)

If you do leave early don't worry - the ending is an irrelevance.

This is a coming of age story and yes, it can be hard to find something new to say but then the trick is to find a non-conventional way of saying it. The film makers here didn't get that far.

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Release Date:

13 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Philophobia See more »


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Production Co:

Fablemaze See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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