Tonight, as I dragged my weary eyes across the television screen (that’s a fun visual), I saw familiar cover art featuring Simon Pegg. Being a fan of the actor, I was aware of this movie–A Fantastic Fear of Everything–at a time, but had forgotten about it. Until now.
I started the movie, which would take me into the fracturing mind of a writer, a place I know well. This particular mind is that of Jack, a once successful children’s book author who has lost himself in research of serial killers for his next novel, Decades of Death. Due to this research, and a few preexisting neuroses, Jack finds himself hiding away in his apartment, attacking shadows with his trusty kitchen knife, and screaming at caroling children.
That’s all I’m going to give you because frankly, this movie is something of a journey, and I’d hate to rob you of the many discoveries found within. Furthermore, if I’m being honest, this is really more a review of movie critics than a review of the movie.
You see, I have this bad habit of navigating my browser to Rotten Tomatoes after watching a movie I enjoy. It’s sadistic, because I know the snobby fucks (please do NOT pardon my language) over there only give good ratings to documentaries. I don’t know why I torture myself. I like the movie; that should be enough. But in the end I go and read the awful reviews and froth at the mouth for a while until I cry myself to sleep.
Tonight, I decided on another approach. Tonight, I decided to post here (for my three readers) and say this: A Fantastic Fear of Everything is a good movie. Simon Pegg is brilliant, as always, delivering on spectacular physical comedy. The descent into madness is done very well in a dark comedy sort of way. There were a few allusions to horror movies scattered about (most notably Psycho). And finally, the movie is visually impressive many times over.
Critics will state that the movie is drawn out and loses its sense of self at the halfway mark. They may have a point there, but I enjoyed the second half as much as the first, and I felt everything tied together nicely. If there were moments when the plot wanders, I was more than happy wander with it.
Writer/Director Crispian Mills delivers an outrageous romp through the deranged mind of a writer.
I recommend it.