The most memorable aspect of ‘FearDotCom’ was the amount of walkouts witnessed during the press screening of the film. Expectations were low as Director William Malone already has one strike to his name witht ‘House on Haunted Hill. Yet this film sinks cinema to a new low and begs the question: Why?
How can such a perverse and sick tale make it to the silver screen where legends are born and magic is made? This film is a perversion of cinema. If the above sentences seem vented and unprofessional, it is because they are.
Cinema is an artistic medium in which professionals aim at conveying a message through film, whether it is a brainless actioneer, or a well made suspense, there always seems to be a purpose. In this instance, if the aim was to disturb, then Director William Malone and his dismal freak of a film have succeeded, yet in an improper and crude manner.
Stephen Dorff (Blade) tarnishes his resume by taking on the lead in this quasi-thriller/horror that is not scary – just disturbing. Films such as ‘Seven’ and ‘In the Mouth of Madness’ were disturbing films but they had a nucleus to them, this film is just a debacle in every sense of the word. It aims at substituting storytelling with dark visuals in an attempt to create mood, when it all creates is an urge to walk out.
Dorff plays a New York detective who investigates the deaths of citizens who die exactly 48 hours after logging onto a website of the said film. Written by long time Hollywood producer Moshe Diamant, this deplorable film aims at being something it is not.
Although Malone has an innate sense at framing his subjects, he simply uses his characters to take up space in his frame and does not use them to tell a story. Is he to blame? Or should we point the finger at who wrote the ludicrous script? In any event, this is a disturbing and vile film that will be indelibly etched within the viewers mind for how profane of a film it really is.
This film does not connect on many levels and while the script has been highlighted, it does not help when you have a second rate cast leading the way. Dorff suffers from a case of wanting to make himself standout by cursing every possible second and looking scruffy.
The leading lady Natasha McElhone, dons the unfortunate investigative cap as she plays a Department of Health official sent to investigate these bodies that are appearing all over the city. Suffering from internal hemorrhaging and bloody noses, these victims appear to all have died from a slow and menacing descent into torturous pains. Yet, they all share that one element, they have all accessed the site.
Alas, the only way to resolve this mystery is to enter the site. Up to this point in the film, I contained myself and went on watching as well as trying to distance myself from the stupidity of the film. But, with every bad film; it just gets worse before getting better. And as the audience slowly dissipated only one hour after the film, I watched as this formulaic and generic piece of film was being projected and I ultimately decided I had had enough.
As our main character was accessing the site and as more sick and vile images were momentarily flashed onto the screen, I knew there no art in this film. Just trash. I refused to be insulted any further and for the first time ever, I left a screening.
What is even scarier is that a great actor such as Stephen Rea has demoted himself in appearing in such a disgusting film. Granted, I didn’t see the whole thing, but I can guarantee no matter how great a climax, it could not have redeemed this disastrous waste of celluloid. I heard many within the theatre questioning whether this was a commentary on how the Internet affects our lives? To them I reply, from what I saw, computers were barely used in the film, that is how much of a commentary they were aiming at.