Writer: Josephine Coyle (Screenplay) Moshe Diamant (Story)
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea, Udo Kier, Amelia Curtis, Jeffrey Combs
Plot: A New York City detective investigates mysterious deaths occurring 48 hours after users log onto a site named feardotcom.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fear Dot Wrong
Story: Feardotcom starts as New York detective Mike (Dorff) teams up with environmental health officer Terry (McElhone) to investigate a string of death which look like a viral outbreak but could just be murders, the first investigation takes them into a German metal couple fans that seem to have died mysteriously but soon the cases become more significate.
With three different victims, with three unrelated backgrounds the crime seems all unrelated until they look deeper into the computer history and that all three have visited a website called ‘feardotcom.com’ that blasts horrific images into the viewers face leaving the viewer 48 hours to live, but there is also a connection to serial killer Dr Alistair Pratt (Rea).
Thoughts on Feardotcom
Characters – Detective Mike is haunted by his failure to capture a serial killer, this doesn’t make him bad at his job but does show how he never gives up but he also can’t follow simple instructions. Terry, I believe worked for the environmental health and is called into be sure there isn’t a viral outbreak happening, she does seem to be the one that puts the pieces together within the puzzle. Dr Alistair Pratt is the serial killer Mike was never able to capture, he is still active tracking down new victims but just how much of a connection does he have to everything going on. In all honesty, the characters are written to be as dumb as they come, we have a lady working with the police who visits the site and just hides what has happened, and the main two characters both warn the other not to view the site and both run off within moments and watch the site.
Performance – Stephen Dorff is fine in this but he can’t do much with the character written, Natascha McElhone is also fine in this role and handles what she has better than the rest, Stephen Rea does pull of psychopathic well but we just don’t see us enough. Most of the performances are just ok without really doing anything special.
Story – The story follows detectives needing to solve a mystery about a haunted website or a serial killer, I am not sure which as things just seem to get caught between the two. The idea of having the cops fail miserably to solve this or act rational only confuses things for the story, I could understand if it was a reporter like we had in The Ring but now this does just seem to be trying to rip that idea off using the internet over a video.
Crime/Horror – People are dying I guess that does offer up the crime mystery side of this story but in the end the that part turns into horror which is mostly just throwing images at the camera while shaking it a lot.
Settings – The settings are mixed, we have the idea of New York having a serial killer so we get mixed cultures but otherwise we just have typical dark locations.
Scene of the Movie – Dr Alistair’s first appearance because it adds the horror needed and is the only truly scary moment in this film.
Final Thoughts – This is a messy, hard to watch film that tries to capture the magic of horror that The Ring did, it grabbed itself 3 respected lead actors and tried to give us an investigation film but misses on nearly every single level.
Overall: Disappointing Horror Mystery.