A Fantastic Fear of Everything from first time director Crispian Mills, with the help of co-director Chris Hopewell, comes a British Horror Comedy about a man that is scared of just about everything, but mostly washing machines.
Jack Nife (Simon Pegg), an ironic last name as Jack spends most of the film with a Knife accidentally super-glued to his hand, is a writer. He accidentally became an acclaimed children’s author and is now trying to bring his career back from the brink of death by writing a script about Victorian serial killers in London, named Decade of Death. However, it seems that his research into the decade of death has left Jack a bit worse for wear. Jack, considered to be a sensitive man anyway, is now hiding behind doors in a neurotic mess as he is paranoid that he is next. It is on Jack’s fateful trip to the Laundrette, where all his fears apparently originate from, that he learns that perhaps his paranoia isn’t necessarily as irrational as he first thought.
Fantastic Fear is brilliantly funny, as much of the humour is derived from Jack’s irrational fears which seem completely absurd. It is a film about our inner child and having to grow up and face our fears, in particular that of meeting our death as we are born so that we can experience our end, which for some as Jack learns is gruesomely painful. With such a morbid tone the film was in danger of killing itself, however Simon Pegg’s enigmatic screen presence and humour holds this film together beautifully. It may not be his best film to date, but Fantastic Fear is a film like no other.
The film is weirdly far-fetched as Jack’s imagination runs away with him, and sometimes the film, leading the audience into fantasy scenes full of stop-motion animation. Do not hold your breath though, as this animation is in a completely different category to that of Aardman. Instead the animation in this film looks particularly dated. This is perhaps purposely done though, or could just be a result of the low budget, as the animations are projections of Jack’s imagination which represent his inner child and the fears that he has.
The absurdity of this film makes it great, but for some will be the films downfall. Fantastic Fear is a low budget British film with a brilliant performance by Simon Pegg. It is a film with a vivid imagination that will make you laugh, a criticism being, though, that it does not make you laugh enough. It is a film with little action that will nonetheless entertain you.
Written By Shirley Welton