Cert: 15 Runtime: 100 mins Director: Crispin Mills Starring: Simon Pegg, Paul Freeman, Amara Karan, Claire Higgins and Henry Lloyd-Hughes
Fear is in the eye of the beholder
Fear is one of the main human characteristics of life. Simon Pegg now stars in A Fantastic Fear of Everything, he plays Jack a children’s author turned crime novelist whose detailed research into the lives of Victorian serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck, persecuted by the irrational fear of being murdered. When Jack is thrown a life-line by his long-suffering agent and a mysterious Hollywood executive takes a sudden and inexplicable interest in his script, what should be his big break rapidly turns into his big breakdown, as Jack is forced to confront his worst demons; among them his love life, his laundry and the origin of all fear.This film will find its audience among fans of dark comedy. Don’t expect the broad appeal of “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz”, and comparisons to other Simon Pegg films miss the point. This is a film deserving attention, especially for writers and the “cult” audience who enjoy quirky, unique dark comedies/mysteries.This immensely original film gives birth to an entire new genre of ‘paranoid comedy’, which we might call, for instance, ‘cominoia’. The comedy in the film is in many cases hilarious, but at the same time, there is a sadness, a profundity, and a fear of loss and abandonment underlying it all.
I liked the originality of the story and the journey the character took through the movie. It was frequently amusing without ever getting to real laugh-out-loud comedy levels. Silly humour mixed in with quite clever stuff. I’m not sure how it’ll go down outside of the U.K. and indeed I felt that it was more suited to a television rather than big- screen format. It’s the sort of film I think you could really appreciate if you put it on after coming home completely inebriated from the pub, although you’d probably have to shave 10-15 minutes off the running time in order to stay awake till the end. The script of this film was also written by Crispian Mills, which proves him to be a screenwriter of the first rank in his very first screen debut. And as if that were not enough, he also co-produced the music for the film, having at one time been the leader of the pop music group Kula Shaker. The music choices for the various scenes were well-judged. What this film shows, on the part of both Mills and Pegg, is a sense of balance and control in the midst of a raging hurricane of hysteria, like two people walking a circus tightrope during a storm without a tent to cover them. How did they not fall off the rope? That is the mystery of genius at work. The two seem to have melted together into the perfect team. And a great deal of credit must go to the producer, Geraldine Patten, for letting them get on with it and trusting to her sure instinct that this perilous project would really work. Either you’r going to hate it or love it. I will leave it at that……