A Fantastic Fear of Everything

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Hopewell
Crispian Mills
Produced by Geraldine Patten
Written by Crispian Mills
Starring Simon Pegg
Clare Higgins
Amara Karan
Paul Freeman
Alan Drake
Music by Michael Price
Cinematography Simon Chaudoir
Editing by Dan Roberts
Studio Sensitive Artist Productions Limited
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • 8 June 2012 (2012-06-08)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Fantastic Fear of Everything is a British comedy/horror film starring Simon Pegg, written and directed by Crispian Mills with Chris Hopewell as co-director. It is based on the novella Paranoia in the Launderette by Bruce Robinson, writer and director of Withnail and I. It has been described as a low-budget "semicomedy" about a children’s author-turned-crime-novelist who has become obsessed with murder and murdering.[1] It was released on 8 June 2012 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and received a limited U.S. theatrical release on February 7, 2014. The BBFC classified the film a 15 certificate in the UK, while the MPAA rated the film R in America.

Principal photography began on 6 July 2011. Filmed at Shepperton Studios, the film was the first to be backed by Pinewood Studios' initiative to support low-budget British films. It was released by Universal Pictures in the UK and Indomina Releasing in the US.[2]


Jack is an unpublished children's author whose happy marriage has been destroyed by his obsession of one of his books, Harold the Hedgehog. Now, he is obsessed with serial killers and paranoid that people are always watching him. He is working on a series of scripts titled "Decades of Death" about Victorian-era serial killers. His agent Claire tells him that Harvey Humphries, the head of scripts at the BBC, is interested in "Decades of Death" and arranges a meeting between the two for the next day. Jack is now worried that he is the next target of the Hanoi Handshake Killer, who cuts off eight fingers of his victims. One day, a helicopter does a search to find the killer and flies past Jack's apartment. Frustrated, Jack permanently closes the window shut with a bottle of superglue. Jack is now worried that Humphries is a serial killer, due to his first name being the middle name of one of the subjects for "Decades of Death".

Later, a group of young carollers ask Jack for some money and take off with his sock, which he put the money in. Jack attempts to get rid of the carving knife he carries around with him, only to find it is superglued to his hand. Jack, who has a fear of laundromats, must clean his clothes for his meeting with Humphries. Tony, a community support police officer, asks Jack if he is okay, due to being told by the kids who stole his money. Tony wanders off; Jack puts his dirty clothes in the oven to dry. Jack finds his apartment filled with smoke and wanders to the kitchen, where he opens the oven and finds that his clothes have burned. Unknown to Jack, the extreme heat has blown off one side of his hair.

Jack calls Professor Friedkin, an old friend, and asks him to help Jack with his fear of laundromats. He suffers a series of hallucinations and realises that he must confront his fear by going to a laundromat. He tells Professor Friedkin that his phobia comes from being abandoned by his mother at one. While at the laundromat, Jack gets into an argument with the owner about not putting soap in the washer. When the owners are about to leave, Jack takes his superglued hand out of his pocket and accidentally shows the carving knife. The customers call the police, who show up and arrest Jack, who falls out of the truck and escapes. He runs into one of the customers, an Indian woman. The two share goodbyes and run into Tony, who follows after the woman. Jack searches the back of the laundromat and finds a hatch. Upon opening it, he is knocked out.

Jack awakens in the basement and finds himself tied up with the Indian woman, who tells Jack that her name is Sangeet. Jack tells Sangeet that he reckons they are about to be killed, but she thinks it is a case of mistaken identity. Tony shows up and they tell him to get help. He closes the hatch and says that he would rather stay in the basement. He reveals himself as the Hanoi Handshake Killer and tells them that they are his next victims. Sangeet unties herself and tries to escape but is dragged back by Tony. Tony tells them that the laundromat used to belong to his grandmother and that the basement was his old bedroom. He now lives in the basement, unknown to the current owners. The result was an obsession with washing machines. Tony tells them that once the machine gets to rinse, he will kill them.

Jack tries to distract Tony by telling him a story. He tells him a re-written version of Harold the Hedgehog, which leaves Tony in tears. Tony confesses and tells Jack and Sangeet that he didn't kill the other people, but he created the identity of the Hanoi Handshake Killer. The owner of the laundromat opens the hatch and Jack and Sangeet tell her to get help. Jack promises Sangeet that once they get out, he will buy her dinner.

A few months later, Jack is at an event reading Harold the Hedgehog, which he has released and has become a smash hit with children. At the event is Sangeet, who has started a relationship with Jack, Professor Friedkin and Claire. Professor Friedkin suggests a sequel with several adult themes, while Claire tells Jack that Humphries is at the event. The two meet and it turns out that Humphries appears to look like the aforementioned Dr Crippen, implying that Jack was right and that Humphries may be Crippens descendant. Sangeet reminds Jack about the dinner. They leave the event and catch a taxi as the credits roll over the frame.


  • Simon Pegg as Jack
  • Clare Higgins as Clair
  • Amara Karan as Sangeet
  • Paul Freeman as Dr. Friedkin
  • Kerry Shale as Harvey Humphries
  • Alan Drake as Perkins
  • Zaak Conway as Young Jack
  • Filippo Delaunay as Waiter
  • Elliot Greene as Hoodie
  • Mo Idriss as Mr. Rowntree Restaurant Diner
  • Tuyet Le as Warden
  • Henry Lloyd-Hughes as PC Taser
  • Alice Orr-Ewing as Lavinia
  • Jane Stanness as Sheena
  • Jay Taylor as Documentary Maker
  • Martyn Moore as Restaurant Diner (uncredited)

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed to negative reviews. Film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes giving a 35% "Rotten" rating based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's consensus reads: "Aside from a few chuckles and Simon Pegg's reliably affable screen presence, A Fantastic Fear of Everything has embarrassingly little to offer."[3] and a rating of 5.8 on Internet Movie Database.


  1. ^ Grose, Jessica (15 June 2011). "Questions for Simon Pegg". Slate.com. 
  2. ^ "Simon Pegg Signs on for 'A Fantastic Fear of Everything'". The Hollywood Reporter. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "A Fantastic Fear of Everything". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]