A Fantastic Fear of Everything is a comedy/thriller, written and directed by Crispin Mills of the band Kula Shaker, which stars Simon Pegg as a writer named Jack. Tired of being typecast as a children’s author, Jack has been working on a TV script about Victorian Serial Killers named Decades of Death. Due to his heavy research on this types of killers, which he considers more “theatrical” than modern killers, Jack begins to become quiet paranoid and fearful that someone is out to murder him. When his agent sets up an important meeting, Jack becomes convinced that the guy he is meeting is related to one of the killers he researched. Not only that, but Jack needs to head to the Launderette, where he has to confront a childhood trauma that has been haunting him all his life.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything has the style of a pulp detective novel, complete with Jack’s internal monologue doing the narration. In some ways the film is not too different from the HBO TV series Bored Too Death in its style. Much of the comedy in the film comes from Jack’s delusional paranoia, in which he convinces himself that there is someone after him. Jack’s attempts to cope with these delusions results in him seeming less than sane himself. There’s also a hilarious scene that see Jack rapping in nothing but a bath towel (there’s a later scene involving Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” which is just as hilarious).
Probably the most impressive scene of the movie involves Jack narrating a macabre children’s story about a hedgehog named Harold. This section of the film is done entirely in stop-motion and appears like one of the many stop-motion British children’s programs, like The Wind in the Willows. It was definitely one of the main highlights on the film.
Overall, I found A Fantastic Fear of Everything to be an entertaining, and often hilarious, noir comedy about a paranoid man trying to cope with his demons.8 | LIKED IT