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dog days

dog days

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Day 18


Feardotcom
2002
William Malone

A detective, (Steven Dorff), investigates the death of man who was hit by a subway train. With the help of a Department of Health official, (Natascha McElhone ), they discover that the man is bleeding heavily from his eyes, a symptom which matches several other mysterious deaths that have been plaguing the city. All the victims' computers had been crashed after visiting a site called Feardotcom, which shows people being tortured before being murdered. Anyone who views the site dies 48 hours later, apparently of something they have a terrible fear about. The detective and the official both view the site in hopes of finding clues, and now have only 48 hours to discover who is behind the website, but there is something inhuman waiting for them as well.

William Malone can make a pretty movie. Feardotcom has a lot of great murky visuals. Sadly, that is the only real strength this film possesses. The story is a convoluted mess, it’s only now on my repeat viewing that I have any idea what the climax is supposed to be about. Feardotcom is basically The Ringu (1998), except not scary at all. The internet is inherently not frightening. A video tape is a chunky bit of analog that you can hold in your hand, it has weight, and it can have a history. A website is ephemeral, and requires so many different working parts it falls apart as vehicle for scares. Who coded it? Where is it hosted? Who registered the domain?

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