Feardotcom (2002) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: William Malone
Producers: Limor Diamant, Moshe Diamant
Writers: Moshe Diamant, Josephine Coyle (Screenplay)
Date Released: August 30, 2002
Stephen Dorff as Detective Mike Reilly
Natascha McElhone as Terry Huston
Stephen Rea as Alistair Pratt
Udo Kier as Polidori
Amelia Curtis as Denise Stone
Jeffrey Combs as Sykes
Nigel Terry as Turnbull
Gesine Cukrowski as Jeannine
Michael Sarrazin as Frank Bryant
Rating = 0.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Following the mysterious death of Polidori (Udo Kier) in the subway, NYPD detective Mike Reilly (Stephen Dorff) encounters several other victims who died the same way. As Reilly and Department of Health associate Terry Huston (Natascha McElhone) investigate the deaths, they discover a pattern: they all visited a website named feardotcom.com. The pair visits the website to discover its secrets. Now, they have to play a deadly game before time runs out.
Feardotcom (2002) features heavy topics, including torture, kidnapping, and snuff films. However, not much gore accompanies the heaviness of the material. Photographs of tortured women are shown and they can get pretty graphic. But in the torture scenes, there’s little to no violence and blood present. Also, there’s nudity in the film.
The Grave Review
Feardotcom (2002) is the story of a haunted torture website that kills people who access it. Isn’t this a plot that’s similar to a better horror movie? If you’ve seen Ringu (1998), you’ll know that the resemblance in the plot is uncanny. Series of images that cause hallucinations, a creepy girl running the show, people given days before death, and revenge. It’s a shame seeing the second half of the film try to incorporate a successful horror plot into the story established in the first half of the movie. The already messy plot just becomes incomprehensible.
The movie introduces the villain, called The Doctor (Stephen Rea), as the elusive serial killer who likes to torture women. Detective Mike Reilly and The Doctor’s subplot could have been the movie’s main plot. But the story of Jeannine (Gesine Cukrowski) and her revenge as the first torture victim ruins the potential and widens the plot holes.
The website itself is confusing. In the beginning, the viewers will get the idea that the website is owned and controlled by The Doctor. Where else can the voyeurs watch the torture happen? But later in the film, it is revealed that Jeannine the ghost controls the website. How? Through hate, of course. Also, Reilly has been investigating the case for months. Why is he not aware of the website? He only finds the website when it was convenient for the ghost plot.
Aside from the pathetic plot, the acting is also unbearable. In addition, the dialogues are awkward, clichéd, and cheesy. Expect to hear the usual lines from horror movies every minute of the movie. Unfortunately, it’s not even something to laugh about; it’s just painful to watch.
The photographs and short segments of torture are a little creepy. Even The Doctor’s death has a scare factor. Despite this, the movie still isn’t any good. Not a single scene makes the film worth a watch.
The film has a running time of 98 minutes, but it feels like a 3-hour movie. If you’re willing to go through that agony, you might enjoy this movie. Otherwise, don’t even consider seeing Feardotcom (2002). Instead, watch Ringu (1998) or The Ring (2002).
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Feardotcom (2002) half a grave out of five graves.
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