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Title: Fear Dot Com
By: William Malone(indeed, the guy who raped House on haunted hill)
Personal T-meter: Rotten
There are literally thousands and thousands of lousy films from many genres with no qualities whatsoever, not even in the technical department. They?ve got it all: poor acting, shitty directing, abominable writing, awful editing, pathetic art-directing, terrible special effects etc. In fact they are so bad, it?s not even funny or entertaining anymore. Films like American Gothic, The fear, The mangler, The texas chainsaw massacre sequels, I frati rossi, and many many more cheap B-movies from many countries. But which movie makes it into the bottom 100? Exactly. Feardotcom. A bit weird, since the visual effects and art directing are pretty stylish and i didn't think the acting was TOO bad. These qualities are enough to make it rise above any of the worst films ever created, as some movies don?t even have that to resort to when all else fails. And believe me, I?ve seen dozens of godawful flicks from, let?s say, Italy or America, that are a million times worse than Feardotcom could ever be. Ofcourse, there?s a certain amount of votes needed to make on the list, but this way, all the wrong movies get placed. Feardotcom shouldn?t even be in the top 1000, if you ask me.
That said, i must admit that this movie couldn't possibly be further away from classic-status. Even if you're a die hard horror fan, like me, you'll find that this is incredibly tedious. The plot is a direct rip off from the critically acclaimed Ringu, although the writers obviously tried to cover this up by simply changing the pace, dumping plausibility and subtlety, adding more visuals and having the characters stripped of narrative relevance. It has to be said though, that some parts of the dialogue are fairly well written and not all that cheesy. Especially in the first half, i was pleasantly surprised a few times by the conversations between Dorf and McElphone. They were witty, adult and sharp, but unfortunately also very scarce considering it's runtime. The rest consisted of extremely basic philosophizing, some cheap(and pretentious)quotes, incoherent character development and messy explanations. Pretty poor, if you ask me, and not supportive to the plot at all. I wonder why the writer tried so overly hard to make this intelligent, while a more conventional and less ambitious approach would?ve probably helped telling the story of a B-grade rip off premise a lot. But I guess every modern writer tries to deliver his part to this highly intellectual form of art called Hollywood horror. *rolleyes*. Ironically, only the truly intelligent horror producers understand when to act like a smarty-pants and when to just have a bit of dumb fun. Feardotcom is obviously created by people who completely misjudged their own plot and came up with something that is neither smart nor dumb fun. Good work. It could be a Tobe Hooper movie.
But like I said, the performances aren?t too bad for a cheap flick like this. Don?t expect anything special or something, as the cast is not helped a great deal by the script I just mentioned, which painfully limits their potential emotional impact. Yet Dorf as a good-hearted cop manages to keep his dignity by showing all the right poses and respond to his co-players and events in an adequate manner. It?s nothing that we haven?t seen before in similar movies of recent years, but it gets him through. The other main star, McElphone, is bearable as the?..What was she again? Anyway, she did okay. Too bad the two of them HAD to fall in love, but it was nice to see a woman who was actually a normal, kind person from the start, instead of the semi-hip, unrealistically assertive feminist-powerhouse. Not that I have anything against equality or something, but I just liked the fact that she was a more realistic person than usual. So yes, the main stars are alright, but what about the rest of them? Well supporting roles usually suck in this kind of film(especially the smaller ones) and Feardotcom is no exception. The guy who played the doctor, Rea, does a nice enough job, but practically everybody els is completely stupid. Even the ever reliable Udo Kier manages to annoy the hell out of me with his fuzzy mimic and terribly uncool bodylanguage. What was he thinking, for pete?s sake?! I appreciate a bit of self-awareness in an actor?s performance, but this didn?t make any sense at all. Not a very smart move, mister Kier! The rest of the performances range from average to below average to just plain bad, but it isn?t as bothersome as you would think. But that might have something to do with you trying to stay awake all the time, which is proved to be rather hard in my case. But still, average is not as bad as ?below average? or ?bad? so there you go, another compliment. Well, no, I was just trying to be nice to a movie which is to be considered far below your average horrorflick.
So all that makes feardotcom a pretty lame, incoherent, but visually striking horror mystery, unsuited for anyone who cannot appreciate traditional horror. But what about the fans? Can THEY get anything from this? Well maybe. The violence in this one is limited to tons of quick images of hellraiser-esque torture, which are efficiently edited. But it never gets as bloody and gory as those films. In fact, most of the images consist of woman screaming and the torture is largely suggested by showing the tools right before using them and then skip to the next. It looks good, especially with those pleasantly lighted setpieces to stage them in, but I would?ve liked to see more of the good stuff we?ve all come to love. One ketchup-bottle of blood for a horrormovie about torture is the same as one nose-job for a face like Michael Jackson?s: it?s just not enough to save it. I expected much more gore, as I heard a few people complain about the rating it received. They think this should be classified as ?NC-17? in America. The truth is, this should be rated PG-13 in america for brief images of torture and rated ?12? in Holland. Anyway, gore is not what could save this movie from doom , no matter the amounts it. Feardotcom is only viewable if there aren?t any better movies available in your local videostore. Otherwise you can just skip it and not feel bad about it. It has a few good points, but not nearly enough to entertain you through another 90 minutes of your life. But remember: it?s NOT one of the worst films ever made, damnit!
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