By Shawn McKenzie 09/02/2002
Have you ever seen just the title of a movie and assumed that it was going to be a bad movie? That’s what I did with FearDotCom, but I still like to keep an open mind just in case I am pleasantly surprised. There was no pleasant surprise here though.
FearDotCom is the story of Mike Reilly (Stephen Dorff), a police detective assigned to investigate a mysterious rash of deaths happening lately involving bleeding out of the eyes. He works with Department of Health associate Terry Houston (Natascha McElhone), who suspects at first that it is some sort of weird virus. Once they confirm that it is not a virus, they set upon trying to figure out what it is. They find out that all of the victims have all visited the site feardotcom.com (I did not type that wrong, it is really that stupid.) They also notice that all of the victims have died within 48 hours of visiting the site. Now, most intelligent people would conclude that you shouldn’t visit this site if they already have proof that it kills you. Do they visit it? Of course! First Mike visits it, starts getting the freaky visions (including the very tired horror movie cliché vision of a freaky little girl) and warns Terry NOT TO VISIT THE SITE! Of course, in horror movie-speak that automatically translates into OKAY, I WILL VISIT THE SITE! What happens from then would ruin the plot, but let’s just say it is a bunch of weird stuff that makes no sense and defies logic.
There is a group of people who I frequently see at these screenings, and one of them put it best in his comment about this movie, "The only people who were scared of this movie were on the screen." Reggie McDaniel, the fellow Denver critic I refer to quite often, said that he saw the movie for free and he wanted his money back! It really is that bad. I’d have to say it is "Mystery Science Theater 3000" bad. I say that because I would have shouted out my mockery of the movie if it wasn’t a generally rude thing to do.
Have I not yet convinced you how bad this movie is? Try this out. My favorite bad line in this movie is when Terry gets a call on her cell phone from the computer ghost that is trying to kill her, and she says, "Leave me alone! Where are you?"
If I hadn’t already made myself a rule to make my lowest grade of a movie one camera, FearDotCom would get negative numbers. It is the second worst movie of the year so far behind Possession (read my review of that movie for why it is so bad.) Why do I say that? It is because FearDotCom is laughably bad, whereas Possession is bad and boring. There is no camp factor to seeing Possession.
Before I end this review, I need to ask the question…Stephen Dorff…why? You had such potential, but you have made two stinkers in a row now (Deuces Wild was the other one; see my review.) I know you can make better movies, so why are you doing these horrible flicks? Didn’t you read the scripts, or are you so desperate for work that you will take anything? Here’s to hoping you will get a good project soon.
I definitely would not recommend wasting your money on FearDotCom, but if you and your friends like to pretend you are Joel/Mike and the bots from "Mystery Science Theater 3000," wait until this comes on video. Rent this one and Battlefield Earth and have a mock fest. They are both movies that are laughably stupid and defy all logic. You might have even have fun with it!
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SEE THIS MOVIE!
Catch this movie at the theater if you can...
Wait until it comes out on video...
Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...
Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!