Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

A Problem with Fear

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
3.6/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Genre  Comedy, Crime, Drama
Running time  1h 34m
Country  Canada
5.5/10 IMDb

Director  Gary Burns
Music director  John Abram
Language  English
A Problem with Fear movie poster
Release date  5 September 2003 (Canada) 17 April 2004 (US)
Writer  Donna Brunsdale, Gary Burns
Screenplay  Gary Burns, Donna Brunsdale
Cast  Paulo Costanzo, Emily Hampshire, Camille Sullivan, Keegan Connor Tracy, Willie Garson
Similar movies  Gary Burns directed A Problem with Fear and waydowntown

A problem with fear trailer

A Problem with Fear, or Laurie's Anxiety Confronting the Escalator is a 2003 absurdist comedy film by Canadian film-maker Gary Burns.


A Problem with Fear wwwcfiicfcauploadsscreenings655lgLaurie20

A problem with fear


Laurie Harding (Paulo Costanzo) is a small shop clerk in the local Calgary mall. His world is full of tragic accidents - crosswalks, elevators, escalators and virtually anything associated with commercialism or technology is parodied as objects of fear and tragedy.

An elevator plunges 30 stories. A woman's scarf is caught in an escalator, strangling her to death. A man is struck by a car, right before Laurie had the premonition to not cross.

His own world is full of fear of these very events, his predictions of them, and his dependence on his less-than-sympathetic sister, Michelle (Camille Sullivan).

Michelle heads product development at the company Global Safety Inc., whose mission is to provide products to combat the "Fear Storm" which assails the city. With their "Early Warning 2 Safe System tm", the PDA-like device warns you of danger ahead of time and the "Safe Bracelet tm" senses your fear and allows you to beep for help.

Along with Laurie's prophetic powers, and the endless onslaught of accidents, the movie is full of absurd events: a mall announcer who continually requests a speaker of x foreign language - without any apparent reason; the same mall's population which slowly dwindles, being virtually empty by the film's end; an entire classroom population which is accosted simultaneously by hiccups;

Some of these are more apparently satirical of pop culture: to comfort himself, Laurie repeats commercial refrains, such "Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat"; his girlfriend, Dot (Emily Hampshire), does a survey on "how the clothes you wear define you" - one she both detests and is obsessed by.

These events are framed by the pretextual plot of Laurie conquering his fears — and by extension, the fears of those around him. However, by the film's end, it is doubtful that anything has been changed or achieved.


  • Paulo Costanzo as Laurie
  • Emily Hampshire as Dot
  • Willie Garson as Erin
  • Keegan Connor Tracy as Vicky
  • Camille Sullivan as Michelle
  • Benjamin Ratner as Alan
  • Marnie Alton as Daphne
  • Melba Montgomery as the escalator lady
  • References

    A Problem with Fear Wikipedia
    A Problem with Fear IMDbA Problem with Fear Rotten TomatoesA Problem with Fear

    Similar Topics
    Camille Sullivan
    Emily Hampshire
    Keegan Connor Tracy