"A Fantastic Fear of Everything" Movie Review: 1 1/2 Stars
by Guy Lodge
Geliophobia -- the fear of laughter -- is one of the few not held by
As a neurotic writer's paranoia is gradually justified over one very long night in
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It's hard to imagine what unsuspecting Yanks will make of the knowingly antiquated, quasi-Victorian tone of this British import's first half in particular.
Mills' shaggy-dog narrative clearly owes more to the absurdist vein of British TV comedy that has hatched
such cult properties as "The League of Gentlemen" and "The Mighty Boosh" than to the accessible brand of genre
spoofery on which Pegg built his reputation with regular collaborator
"You wanna polish my script?" says
There's a serial killer on the loose in his quarter of Hackney, a famously dicey
When his unctuous literary agent, Clair (
From this already strained "Big Lebowski"-aping premise, things get both sillier and grislier, as Jack encounters the "Hanoi Handshake" of the aforementioned killer, while the Vietnamese population of the East End comes in for perplexing ridicule. (A typically queasy one-liner: "The place went to pot. Pol Pot.")
Pegg is an engaging comic presence in controlled doses, but given free rein over material this thin and a character this charmless, it's not long before one wishes Jack's fear of meeting his maker would come to swift fruition.
MPAA rating: R (for language). Running time: 1:40.
"A Fantastic Fear of Everything" Movie Trailer
Jack is 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 an 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 Jack's script, what should be his 'big break' rapidly turns into his 'big breakdown' as Jack is forced to confront his worst fears; among them love, laundry and serial killers