Thanks to my friends at the Young Actors Theatre Agency I was lucky enough to be invited to a very advanced cast and crew showing of Simon Pegg's new film A Fantastic Fear Of Everything. And I am happy to say that it was the most imaginative and inventive piece of cinema I have seen in a while. Maybe even since Simon's first big screen hit Shaun Of The Dead.
A Fantastic Fear Of Everything is about Jack, a former children's author who, after researching Victorian murders for his new play, has developed an irrational fear that someone is trying to murder him. Even though the story sounds sad, Jack's voiceover commenting on his own life is very funny and adds to the dark humor. The best example of this is when Jack is trying to get over his fear of laundrettes. He has to take his time using the washing machines, trying not to rouse suspicion from the regulars doing their laundry. I forgot to mention he has a carving knife glued to his hand.
Simon Pegg rises from his Indie movie grave
After Simon's parade of commercial blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible and Star Trek it's no surprise he wants to get back to his roots by making a new British Indie movie. But the question is does he still have what it takes? In my opinion yes, he clearly has more than enough flair and wit to make his triumphant return to Indie cinema.
A Fantastic Fear Of Everything is the definition of a sub-genre, it perfectly couples horror and comedy. I have to admit, not quite as well as Shaun Of The Dead. But this new film has the added element for being very stylised. Similar to the Victorian murders Jack has been researching, the film has a ghostly Jack the Ripper feel, which helps put you in the haunted mind of Jack. Whoa. Jack. Jack the Ripper. Coincidence maybe?
Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell are first-time movie directors and had to call in a lot of favors to get this film made. But I can imagine anyone being happy to get involved with the project because the outcome was so fresh and unique. Maybe sub-genres and indie films are the future of cinema. Let's hope so.
As if this film wasn't stylish enough, A Fantastic Fear Of Everything even has a really quirky stop-motion sequence for all the animation lovers. It's just as funny as the live-action scenes telling the story Jack's first children's book about a hedgehog.
Trick or Treat or Talent
Finally I have to say one of my favorite scenes is when Jack gets freaked out by kids on his doorstep collecting money for charity. This is partly because I know all the kids from my weekend job at Young Actors Theater but also because it is a hilarious scene. It's a shame the film is a 15 certificate because none of the little guys can see it til it comes out on DVD and it really doesn't need a rating that high.
If you're sick to death of the typical commercial movies you've been conned into seeing over and over again why not try A Fantastic Fear Of Everything. It really is something new and enjoyable... Or are you too scared?
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