Posted in Category: Horror
Saturday, July 17, 2010
There are horror movies that judging from the cast and storyline that you just expect to be bad. You don’t expect to take them seriously. You don’t expect for them to hold any kind of serious weight in Hollywood, the indie industry or any other market. Some of these types of films surprise you since you don’t expect any positivity to come from them. Some of them hold potential but just don’t go that extra mile to utilize all of it. Then there are some films which add a new spin to an already popular concept. The popular concept is the idea of people dying a specific number of days after something dramatic has happened to them. The new spin is the use of the internet. That’s right, you can not only shop, find love and let everyone know what you’re doing every second of the day but now people can die by simply visiting a certain site.
Stephen Dorff plays NYC police Detective Mike Reilly who has been plagued by the inability to capture and convict a serial killer named Alistair Pratt who calls himself “The Doctor”. He kidnaps, tortures and eventually murders his captives while broadcasting it over the internet. One of his victims, a young woman named Jeannie (Gesine Cukrowski) whom he referred to as his favorite, was tortured longer and worse than any other victim. She returns as a ghost through none other than the internet. “Feardotcom” is a website that she created to dish out her own revenge to web users because her own death was broadcasted over the internet. Along with a worker from the Dept. of Health, Terry Huston (Natascha McElhone), Detective Reilly tries to solve a string of unexplained murders that all seemed to be linked to the usage of this site.
The site itself subjects visitors to visions and scenes of violent and perverse nature causing them to have hallucinations and constant nose bleeds during their everyday life. All of the victims of the site have perished coming the way of their worst fear. For example, one victim died by crashing his car and he had a fear of dying in an automobile wreck. As the murder count increases, the two main characters get deadly close to finally solving the mystery but by visiting the site themselves. Their discovery leads them back to “The Doctor” and they must uncover the connection between the two.
I have seen bad movies before, more specifically, bad horror movies before. Nowadays, it has been ever so difficult to create a horror that actually frightens its audience. Especially because most of us have grown up during a time when horror was good, scary and entertaining at the same time. FeardotCom fails at every facet of that attempt. As stated before, it plays off of the concept of people dying a specified time after they have experienced something dramatic. Think horror films such Ringu or its American counterpart The Ring. This film was actually placed in the category of copying The Ring even though it was released two months before that film was. Using the internet as another gateway for this way of “delayed death” holds potential but doesn’t deliver.
The story by Moshe Diamant will severely let down any hardcore horror fan. It lacks originality and anything else you would want out of a horror film. The ghost of Jeanine seems underdeveloped and not thought out enough to really scare anyone. The acting and mere goings on of the characters are frustrating. If you know that something is going to hurt you, why would you do it? This mystery seemed like something they could have figured out without visiting the site themselves. If you know wife’s ex major crush is coming back into town, why would you leave her alone with him? It’s like asking for bad things to happen. If you haven’t realized it by now, this film was very disappointing to say the least.
With a mediocre attempt at playing off a successful horror concept, this film falls flat on its face and doesn’t deserve to be helped up. I give FeardotCom “1.5 illegal ways to use the internet out of 5”.
“How enticing the smell of cheap perfume can be… or is that fear?”