Film review: A Fantastic Fear of Everything (3 out of 5 stars)

(15) 100mins

Tuesday, 12th June 2012, 9:49 am

Directors: Crispian Mills, Chris Hopewell

Starring: Simon Pegg, Paul Freeman, Claire Higgins

I FANCY many people might be drawn into seeing this movie thanks to Simon Pegg’s name on the credits.

However, some may be disappointed if they are looking for another Saun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz or Paul.

This film, which is more theatrical than cinematic, owes more to Pegg’s surreal fun seen in the TV series Spaced (1999/2001).

The plot, such as it is, revolves round writer Jack (Pegg), a former children’s author who is now writing about serial killers.

However, the research has turned him into a nervous wreck, locked in his flat and scared of... well everything.

Just when you think this is going to be the main strand of the movie, though, it takes off in various directions.

On occasions it feels like the film is trying to be clever just to show off, especially with some psychobabble that doesn’t really hit the mark.

Director Mills (more famous as son of Hayley Mills and frontman for the band Kula Shaker) tries to keep all the strands together, but it’s a tough ask.

It must be said there are some very funny moments and Pegg is great at keeping up the interest.

Watch out for some fine homages to classic films - an underpants scene linked to 2001: A Space Odyssey, plus a shower scene that plays on Hitchcock’s Psycho are particularly good.

The rest of the cast have very little to do, though Henry Lloyd-Hughes (as PC Taser) and Amara Karen (as Sangeet) have a chance to show their skills late on.

The occasional strong language might upset some people - at least I think that’s why three middle aged women walked out at the screening I was in.

But what may upset more people is a storyline that meanders too much, leaving you a bit worn out trying to follow behind.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley