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Overall Rating
1.74

Awesome: 4.35%
Worth A Look: 3.26%
Average: 20.65%
Pretty Bad: 5.43%
Total Crap66.3%

6 reviews, 56 user ratings


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fear dot com
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Another excuse to show scantily clad women in agony."
1 stars

Those who haven't seen half-naked women being tortured in a movie in a long time and have been pining for it might want to know about 'Feardotcom.'

The rest of us can stay home and wonder why horror movies never fixate on bald, fat, ugly, half-naked guys being tortured (or is that just a naïve question?). Feardotcom, a cheapjack foreign-shot film (Luxembourg and Montreal double for New York City) distributed by the formerly prestigious Warner Bros., is another one of those freak shows that pretend to denounce misogynistic crime while showing us as much of it as the R rating will allow. For reasons known only to him, Roger Ebert's review praised the film's visuals; gee, Roger, you mean the one of the woman being dissected alive, or the one of the woman drowning in a tub?

Stephen Dorff is a cop obsessed with the one that got away -- Alistair Pratt, a.k.a. "The Doctor" (Stephen Rea), a maniac who has eluded capture for years. Dorff starts finding corpses that appear to be the victims of a crash-and-bleed-out virus; Natascha McElhone, as a public health official, gets called in and concludes that it isn't a virus -- not the physical kind, anyway. Each victim, you see, had visited a website called feardotcom.com 48 hours before their death (kind of close to the premise of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu, but never mind). This is connected in some way with "The Doctor" and his first victim, seen in visions as a spooky little girl with a white ball.

Ebert advised focusing on the imagery and disregarding the plot, but most of us go to a movie to be told a story, not to be flashed with shock cuts of repugnant violence. That's neither horror nor good filmmaking -- it's peek-a-boo editing-table gimmickry, and you or I could do the same thing given the budget. Watching Feardotcom is often like being splashed with sewage by a Super-Soaker. At its core is the tired device of the little girl trying to communicate with the living and get revenge on her murderer, which might be nice if we hadn't seen it in The Sixth Sense and Stir of Echoes, to name two. The theme of voyeurism biting the voyeur in the throat (the victims are being punished for the sin of watching death) is as old as Euripides. Without anything original onscreen to speak of, there's nothing to hold one's attention but the squalid "innovation" of creative torture.

Unaccountably written by a woman (Josephine Coyle) and directed by William Malone, whose House on Haunted Hill remake was sort of fun, Feardotcom has apparently picked its supporting cast to please genre fans; Jeffrey Combs (The Re-Animator) turns up as a jaded cop, Michael Sarrazin (Frankenstein: The True Story) is a drunken crackpot author of a book on Internet secrets, Nigel Terry (Excalibur) is McElhone's ill-fated supervisor (he dies the way everyone else does, a victim of his worst fear), and, most promisingly, the great Udo Kier (Blood of Dracula) opens the film as a man amusingly named Polidori, who loses a human-vs.-subway-train match. Fans will have to content themselves with the mere presence of these cult icons, though, since Malone mainly sticks to Dorff and McElhone, both of whom have been better, and Stephen Rea, visibly bored playing a cyber-boogeyman who spouts psycho-visionary nonsense.

Feardotcom annoyed me; I experienced it almost as a personal affront, because, to give Ebert his due, there is a certain twisted visual pizzazz at work here (as there was in The Cell, another grotesque favorite of Ebert's -- can this be the same man who crusaded against I Spit on Your Grave?). But it's put in service of an inept plot that uses its teases of (female) flesh and blood to keep us interested, or -- dare I say it -- entertained. Feardotcom is a rancid little slaughterhouse.

At one point, "The Doctor" announces that he wants to make death look ugly so that it'll be taken seriously, and no doubt the makers of 'Feardotcom' would use a similar line. And it would be just as self-serving and irrelevant.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6085&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/13/07 16:32:24
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User Comments

11/26/11 Wa Wa Weitz Just awful. Crap, exploitative crap, derivative crap, boring crap, crap crap crap. 1 stars
9/11/07 kristina The movie was orgasmic :D 5 stars
6/09/06 Frank Rountree This movie was bad all the way around, everything! 1 stars
4/04/06 JRE horror films arent supposed to be predictable which is exactly what this was. dont watch it 1 stars
11/26/05 shell bell Not only was this predictable...it was boringly predictable. 1 stars
11/23/05 Melissa just waiting for something to happen, hard to hear, boring 1 stars
10/27/05 deadwiz Not scary, just weird. Had some interesting ideas. 3 stars
10/26/05 Richard Brandt Seems ghosts could just come out with what's bothering them...Wait, this wasn't The Ring? 2 stars
10/23/05 baseball-nut I have to agree with the majority....this was CRAP! 1 stars
9/02/05 ES Nothing here your life won't be better off without 1 stars
1/05/05 Joe England From what I saw, "The Ring," with "du you want to plé?" constantly fed onto the soundtrack. 2 stars
1/02/05 Sarah Jack Sommersby is a fucking idiot. 1 stars
7/21/04 American Slasher Goddess A boring mess, Jeffrey Combs is once again wasted in another movie. 1 stars
7/11/04 NaturezRevenge 1. The ring meets wannabe hellraiser where girls can have haemophilia and play at old mills 1 stars
6/23/04 Freeman Not bad at all 4 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart this is one of the worst films i have ever seen crap story its so dark cant see the screen! 1 stars
3/09/04 Sean McLean Boring direction and a script that needed some more drafts mars an otherwise decent concept 2 stars
2/14/04 Jingo P. Everyone involved deserves slow decapitation with a saudering iron. 1 stars
1/09/04 tatum Stunning visuals lift dumb story 3 stars
12/14/03 darkofnight An excellent ride that offers a surprising amount of great jolts. Conclusion falls flat. 4 stars
11/24/03 Samuel Good premise, but unfortunately the rest sucks! 3 stars
10/17/03 Jeremy Ach The best movie I have ever seen. 5 stars
10/11/03 Peter What a load of shite, and thats being Nice!!, if the film was any darker You need a tourch! 1 stars
10/11/03 Dumb Like it was the boring movie of all time 1 stars
10/09/03 Stacey !Stupid! 1 stars
8/26/03 feardotgovdotny everyone involved with this four-assed-monkey turd has 48 hrs b4 I start shooting! 1 stars
6/16/03 Alice I have no words for this piece of shit 1 stars
4/30/03 WORST MOVIE OF ALL TIME Anyone who likes this even a bit is a TURD. 1 stars
3/12/03 garamy swearingen it is shit 1 stars
1/24/03 nora parsons it is a very good movie 5 stars
1/17/03 othree serial killer, ghost & the net, supporting cast almost pulls it off, DARK! NO fEAR 3 stars
11/17/02 snowconehead Udo Kier is the man 5 stars
11/08/02 SPYDER ITS A RIP OFF OF THE RING, THAT SUCKS!!!! 1 stars
11/01/02 The Velcro Warlock Natasha McElhone, the angel of "Truman Show" is just as wasted here, even w/more screentime 2 stars
10/30/02 Oz got it just right, read his review Lillian, David A — you are RETARDS! Only a MORON could find anything to like in this TURD! 1 stars
10/23/02 Lillian Alston I agree with Eric, the movie had no meaning. I was exspecting something different. 3 stars
10/22/02 Jiz About as interesting as watching roadkill decompose. Yawn-o-matic, fuck you Malone 1 stars
10/08/02 This Movie Sucks The only frightening thing about this movie is the amount bad press it's getting. 1 stars
9/20/02 thejames why did stephen dorff have to be in this movie? hes good, movie sucks 2 stars
9/12/02 Mike G I laughed a lot. The dialogue is painful. 1 stars
9/12/02 Buddha Unconscionably bad. Terrible dialogue, for torture fans only. 1 stars
9/10/02 David A. Just like an episode of X Files. Lead characters are imitations of Mulder and Sculley. 4 stars
9/10/02 Warbandit What a load of bullsh!t. Avoid at all costs. 1 stars
9/09/02 jay shit shit garbage, waste of money, IM soo fuckin upset. crap, shit garbage, donation, damn 1 stars
9/08/02 Cliché Master The only thing scary here was the admission price. 1 stars
9/08/02 Erik Snider is right Not even bad in a funny kind of way. Just unbearable 1 stars
9/06/02 alien Which part of the movies name didn't warn you it would suck? Only suckers could go see it. 1 stars
9/06/02 Jennie sucked big time, stupidist movie ever seen 1 stars
9/06/02 Gregg I think this film should be titled Crapdotcom 1 stars
9/05/02 CARLOS GUTIERREZ VERY BAD MOVIE, IN DIALOGUE AND EDITING 1 stars
9/04/02 The Chronic Mastubator Such a boring turd of a movie. 1 stars
9/02/02 Sugarfoot Piss rotten! 1 stars
9/02/02 Danielle Ophelia Fear dot coma 1 stars
9/01/02 Danny See my review at www.bucketreviews.com 3 stars
8/31/02 Damien Raven Maybe the weirdest damn movie this year. Decent plot, bad acting and dialog, great looking 3 stars
8/20/02 Peter Brook Is this a joke? Fear dot com? 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Aug-2002 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  06-Feb-2003




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