Simon Pegg is scared of laundrettes. That's it...
Fighting the intense paranoia borne out of his research into Victorian era serial killers, Jack must face up to his crippling fear of laundrettes when he’s forced to clean some clothes for a meeting that could change his life.A Fantastic Fear of Everything is the directorial debut of one Crispian Mills, the sometime lead singer of psychedelic rock act Kula Shaker. It might seem like a random career change but he’s got the stuff of movies running through his blood – his mother was Hayley Mills which makes his grandfather the right legendary John Mills.
He might have movie making in his blood but Mills doesn’t half make a balls of A Fantastic Fear of Everything. The problems start with his self penned script which takes the premise listed above and does… nothing with it. This is, quite literally, a film that sits around waiting for Simon Pegg to go to the laundrette to sort his crazy brain out. That’s it. The rest is just filler, vainly and ponderously attempting to take what is essentially enough material for a 10 minute short and stretching it out to a brain-numbing length of 100 minutes.
But Simon Pegg is in it, he’s good for a laugh right? Wrong. Firstly, I can’t conceive of any reason why Pegg would be involved with this damp squid of a picture, bar a compact with the devil or massive personal debt. Or maybe he’s just mates with Mills. For whatever reason, it’s clear that the film wouldn’t exist without his involvement, with his title as producer clinching the deal. For what it’s worth, he does what is expected of him – chiefly providing a deep voice over and numerous shots of ‘crazy eyes’ but the script serves him ill, providing little in the way of witty remarks and relying on an affinity for gangster rap that he simply doesn't possess.Mills has clearly seen a bunch of movies and sets out wilfully pilfering shots from some of his favourites. There’s a super slow motion knockout that is ripped straight from Snatch, an art style that might be trying to ape Jean-Pierre Jeunet and everywhere there’s a cacophony of sound effects and crash zooms lifted from Edgar Wright’s Spaced. But it’s all just decoration, an attempt to distract viewers from the belligerent awfulness of the script and nonexistent plot that meanders its way through a serial killer subplot to extend that painful running time.A Fantastic Fear… spirals off into a stop motion animated sequence involving a foul mouthed hedgehog before the end, an element which might have worked if the connection was made to the narrative early on. But it just comes across as another self indulgent moment, as Mills showing people the considerable resources at his disposal.
Fanatical fans of Simon Pegg might be the only possible audience for A Fantastic Fear of Everything, as he’s alone on screen for almost the entire film, sometimes even in his underwear. But for everyone else, even if you thought the trailer seemed halfway interesting, steer clear.