ELKHART, Ind. (AP) - Elkhart resident Tony Seger is a full-time working dad who had a problem.
His wife, Erin, has a fear of vomiting, scientifically known as emetophobia.
Just the thought of potential vomiting causes an intense amount of anxiety for her, leaving her clutching her ears and running out of the room even when it’s fake in movies and cartoons. When Seger wanted to watch a movie with his wife, her best friend had to watch it first to notify the family of all queasy-inducing scenes.
He began looking for a review website that would make watching movies less complicated for his wife. While he didn’t find such a website, he did find a community of people with the same problem.
Out of necessity, Seger spent the last two years creating PhobiasAt?theMovies.com, an online movie database for viewers with certain phobias.
Launching the website three months ago, Seger and his five-member staff of loved ones and friends have collectively screened more than 1,500 movies for blood, clowns, snakes, spiders, needles, vomiting, dentists and teeth, and dolls and puppets, The Journal Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/WNfaM0 ).
Each rating details the number of phobias in the movie and the appearance time and duration of each phobia, down to the second.
Seger says it took a little more than a year for them to compile 1,000 movies before launching the website. The staff continues to add one or two movies to the database daily and go to the movie theater every weekend to review newly released films. Seger says the administrator side of the website allows them to plug in the information as they go along.
Reviewers also watch a weekly average of eight movies that are requested by website members; Seger says they try to post the review within 48 hours of the request.
He estimates that he and his wife have reviewed 650 movies alone.
“Well, it ruins movie watching for you,” he says, laughing. “When we first started, you kind of get lost in the movie and forget what you’re doing. So it’s pretty hard. But now that’s all I see in a movie. Even if we’re watching movies that we’ve already done, I won’t miss it.”
“I like that because we’re always trying to double check each other,” Seger adds.
Although he and his wife both juggle their day jobs, the website and two young children, Seger says it’s been worth it. Beyond just a movie date, his wife’s phobia affected their family life with their two sons, 3-year-old Zach and 2-year-old Caleb.
“I hate snakes, but I personally don’t suffer from a phobia like she does,” Seger says. “When I’m sick or when our 3-year-old is sick, she leaves the house. She feels terrible about that, but she’s gotten better at that.”
Erin Seger says she has gone to doctors and therapists but never has been able to pinpoint how her phobia began.