Top positive review
An entertaining descent in paranoid fear and the facing of demons
on 15 December 2014
Jack (Simon Pegg) is a writer of children’s books who wants to be taken more seriously and so develops a proposed series on Victorian killers. Unfortunately his research is so thorough that he develops a neurosis that the world outside his door is populated by such psychopaths all of whom want to kill him. When his agent sets up a meeting with a party interested in his project Jack is compelled to escape the terrifying shadows of his apartment for the even more frightening realities of the launderette and other people.
The premise is good but obviously limited, especially when Jack ventures forth, but it is sustained by a clever back-story relating to his abandonment by his mother when only a young child. This also ties him in with an active serial killer of sorts and develops Jack into a more rounded character than a psychosis riddled man stuck in a depressing flat.
The humour is definitely black with a little slapstick thrown in for good measure. Jack’s descent into terror provides many opportunities for macabre humour and Simon Pegg is perfect for the role. He is ably assisted by Amara Karan as a surprise love interest, a woman who is intelligent, brave, and pretty; and also Alan Drake as Perkins.
It is an entertaining film, the kind that Hollywood generally does not make. In turns it manages to be humorous and yet also a little gritty, its’ reflections of life in launderettes and on streets at night give it an edge. It also has a surreal feel that is developed by the animated story that pulls everything together at the end.