Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Movie not to be ‘Pegg-ed’ down

By Diamond Victoria 

Managing Editor 

Simon Pegg has proven a relevant figure of ‘00s comedy/parody films, though he is probably more recently recognized for his role as Scotty in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot.

Since his early days in the British series “Spaced,” Pegg has given us classics like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Both films include that dry, but universal humor that is classic Pegg, with satirical montages, banter with his usual co-star Nick Frost, action sequences and some quick-to-the-punch one-liners.

In 2012, though, Pegg starred in something completely out of character. And without his usual co-star. “A Fantastic Fear of Everything,” directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell, is an interesting alternative to typical suspense films. It follows the pangs and paranoid delusions of an obsessed agoraphobe with a penchant for serial killers. Agoraphobes are those who find it less-than-manageable to make it past the walls of their home and into the outside world.

Pegg plays Jack, a fiction writer and formerly well-received children’s author. We are introduced to Jack in the murky wasteland of his apartment. His hair in tangles, wearing only underwear and a battered shirt, he fights off intruders who exist only in his mind.

The film is saturated with scenes of Jack wielding a kitchen knife and staring blankly into mirrors. The lighting is scarce, aside from some pretty sinister red bulbs illuminating a few creepy passageways and silhouettes of “figures” thought to be after our leading man during many of his breakdowns.

The filmmakers’ dismal aesthetic is met with Pegg’s inability to let the film wander too much into traditional “horror film” territory. Despite its bleak plot, there remains a certain sense of buoyancy throughout the film. It just doesn’t entirely convince you that Pegg has totally strayed from his usual, charming antics. You can’t really hate him for that, though.

At first, it’s unclear where the film is going. We are reduced to seeing Jack in his home, fighting irrational fears in dimly lit bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways with no actual explanation. And for a while, Pegg is our only subject on the screen.

Jack’s plight is relatively simple. A down-on-his-luck writer stumbles upon unexpected news that his screenplay has struck interest among some bigwigs in the industry. He must fight a few irrational fears to catch an important meeting. A meeting that, if he makes it out alive, could ultimately change his life. Without giving away too much of the plot, the film finds itself in a laundromat where Jack must confront some inner demons.

The film does have some of the same old clichés – the broke writer who eagerly orders a meal when his publicist says lunch is on her, ultimately winding up with the distracting pretty girl (Amara Karan). But that’s about it. The plot is filled with memorable dialogue and Pegg is convincing as a neurotic, paranoid, starving artist who just wants to wash his clothes in peace.

Allow the first 15 minutes to convince you the film is worth your time and you’ll likely be, at the very least, satisfied with the past hour and a half or so you’ve spent figuring out where the story is going.

“A Fantastic Fear of Everything” isn’t Pegg’s greatest film, nor is it necessarily entirely original. It is, however, entertaining, and it serves as a great hybrid of suspense and somewhat playful humor.

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