Cinema Review: A Fantastic Fear of Everything

DIR: Crispian Mills Chris Hopewell • WRI: Crispian Mills • PRO: Crispian Mills, Geraldine Patten • DOP: Simon Chaudoir • ED: Dan Roberts • DES: Chris Hopewell • Cast:Simon Pegg, Paul Freeman, Amara Karan, Clare Higgins

Jack (Simon Pegg) is a children’s books author who has decided to try his hand at writing a book for adults. His first foray into the grown-up world finds him getting in-too-deep with his research into Victorian England serial killers, and pretty soon Jack’s mind has become so warped by the stories and images that he has subjected himself to that he has become a paranoid recluse, never leaving his filthy apartment, and constantly aware of the (imaginary?) threat of a serial killer lurking in the shadows. However, Jack’s agent has told him that someone is interested in buying the rights to his new novel, and has arranged a meeting for them. So now Jack must face leaving his apartment, the possibility of being murdered, and his life-long fear of laundrettes…

Simon Pegg ramps up his jittery energetic presence to 11, fully realizing Jack’s mania, but since most of the movie is spent with Jack talking to himself, it begins to feel more like a one-man stage play than a proper movie. And once Jack does leave his apartment and is forced to interact with strangers, Pegg dials down the crazy, and the comedy is left to fend for itself in a series of increasingly unlikely and unfunny scenarios.

Written and co-directed by Crispian Mills, the former front-man of ’90s rock band Kula Shaker, the film is not left wanting for ideas, with Jack finding the potential for death in the guise of Christmas Carollers, dirty socks and, yes, laundrettes. Unfortunately the film never fully coalesces into a whole, with some interesting and well-acted moments sandwiched between some dull, toneless or scattershot scenes.

Rory Cashin

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
A Fantastic Fear of Everything is released on 8th June 2012


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