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Watch the trailer

from the feardotcom.com website

 

Fear Dot Com

Fear Dot Com Movie Poster

Warner Home Video, DVD, 2002, Rated R, 1 hr. 41 min.

I think there was a mistake in naming this movie.  I think they meant to call it Fear Dot Lame.  The premise: Four mysterious deaths have occurred in New York City. The victims are all found with the symptoms of Ebola.  Is there a serial killer at work? Or is it something even more insidious? It's up to detective Mike Reilly (Stephen Dorf, of Blade fame) and Department of Health associate Terry Houston (Natascha McElhone, from The Truman Show) to find out what these seemingly unrelated victims have in common. They soon learn their only connection is they all had visited a website called feardotcom.com 48 hours prior to their deaths. Could this website hold the key to these mysterious deaths and will they live long enough to solve the mystery of Fear Dot Com

I really wanted to see this movie in the theater, but I never did, so I was excited when the DVD came out.  Now I'm really glad I didn't waste a trip to the movies and $8.50.  This movie makes no sense, nor is it visually appealing.  

Spoiler synopsis: Dorf and McElhone soon learn that feardotcom.com is a website inhabited by the spirit of a murder victim, Jeannie, who knows everyone's name and secret fear and wants to kill everyone who logs onto the site in revenge for her death.  You see, she was killed by "The Doctor", who uses a web cam to show his killings and tortures (including that of Jeannie) on web sites. Why doesn't she just haunt The Doctor, you ask?  Well, that would mean you would be thinking, and there is none of that allowed in this movie!

Often if a horror movie has a bad plot or dialogue (as is the case here) it at least has good special effects and visuals.  Not this one.  Apparently, no one in New York is allowed to use a light bulb over 40 watts.  The lighting is horrible and everything looks dingy.  I understand using lighting to set the mood, but making every single room dirty and dark is not scary -- it's annoying.  

There is a serious lack of chemistry between Dorf and McElhone.  Not only that, one minute they have just met and the next minute they suddenly care deeply about one another.  

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Terry Houston (Natascha McElhone)

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Detective Mike Reilly (Stephen Dorf)

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 Sykes (Jeffrey Combs)

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Crazy German kid showing final stages of feardotcom

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Alistair "The Doctor" Pratt (Stephen Rea)

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The Doctor getting ready to grant a wish

This movie does not build suspense or instill fear in the viewer.  And talk about predictable.  In one scene, McElhone asks Dorf to promise her he won't visit the feardotcom website.  Gee, guess what happens next?  Yep, he logs onto the site.  A few minutes later, he asks her to promise not to log onto the site.  What happens next?  You guessed it!  Need more?  OK, how about this for scintillating dialogue? McElhone: "Do you have a plastic bag?" Dorf: "That's evidence." McElhone: "Ya."

This movie treats its viewers like they are stupid.  The main characters put evidence together when there is no clear connection.  They also leave out any bit of realism.  One of my favorite parts was when a mother is talking about her dead daughter and says the little girl used to play at the old steel mill two miles away.  Ya, when I was seven years old I always was allowed to play at dangerous old factories two miles away from home...good times.  And I was amazed at how everyone completely flips out after logging onto the website, except Dorf and McElhone, who slightly flip out, but can still function.  Imagine that.  

In case I haven't been clear, only rent this movie if you want to repeatedly use the time remaining feature on your DVD player.

The DVD special features include:

  • Commentary by Director William Malone and Director of Photography Christian Sebaldt
  • feardotcom: Visions of Fear (Making of feardotcom)
  • The Mushroom Factory with introduction by William Malone (deleted scene)
  • Cast and Crew
  • Fear Gallery (story boards and concept art)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • English and French Languages
  • English, French, Spanish subtitles

Do you think we got this movie totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this movie in our forums!

 

QUICK FACTS

Studio

Warner Brothers

Genre

Horror/Mystery

Rating

R

Length

101 Minutes

Color

Yes

Sound

Yes

 

CAST

Actor / Actress

Character

Natascha McElhone

Terry Houston

Stephen Dorf

Detective Mike Reilly

Stephen Rea

Alistair Pratt

Jeffrey Combs

Sykes

 

CREW

William Malone

Director/Story

Moshe Diamant

Producer

Limor Diamant

Producer

Christian Sebaldt

Director of Photography

Josephine Coyle

Writer

http://www.feardotcom.com/

Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 2/10/2003

 
   

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