This inexplicable film doesn't deserve to be reviewed.
This inexplicable film doesn't deserve to be reviewed, but I went and saw it because I was feeling momentarily melancholy and decided I needed to ruin my day.
This is another one of those movies that actually require you to play "spot the plot" while watching. First off, Dr. Alistair Pratt (Stephen Rea) is running a Web site called Feardotcom (which is at www.feardotcom.com, which means the movie ought to be called Feardotcomdotcom) which shows him actually killing people. Who is this guy's service provider anyway? Like, I've heard of inundating people with pop-up ads (ahem), but killing people probably violates some kind of service agreement. Additionally, nobody seems to report this thing, and no law enforcement agency seems to care about it.
Apparently, Dr. Pratt and Detective Mike Reilly (Stephen Dorff) have had a past run-in, though I'm not exactly sure what that has to do with anything and it certainly isn't necessary, other than to give Dorff an extra line or two ("yeah, we had a run-in a few years ago"). Reilly and Terry Houston (Natascha McElhone) discover Feardotcom after a few people turn up dead. Reilly is an actual cop. Terry is from some drug agency and they start working together only because Terry just won't go away. She actually tells Mike in the car that "I don't get out much," so he lets her work with him, realizing that the odds he's going to get laid have just risen dramatically. Meanwhile Reilly's "real" partner, Sykes (Jeffrey Combs) only has one name and saunters around the police station like he's trying to clear a chicken wing from his throat.
Despite finding out that people die within 48 hours of a visit to Feardotcom, both Reilly and Terry immediately visit it and get zapped with some kind of subliminal advertisement that makes them see a young, blond-headed girl bouncing a white ball. Oh, it also makes them die. Funny, I was watching the same thing they were watching and nothing happened to me. I figured that maybe, 48 seconds later, I might be dead. Sadly, it was not to be.
To spread the word about this FearDotCom review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.