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fear dot com  (2002)

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea, Udo Kier, Gesine Cukrowski, Jeffrey Combs
Director: William Malone
U.S. Distribution: Warner Bros.
U.S. Release Date: 8/30/02
Running Time: 1:38
MPAA Rating: R

Evil lurks on the Internet. A New York City police detective (Stephen Dorff) and health examiner (Natascha McElhone) log on to a Web site which is linked to the gruesome deaths of numerous persons. It seems that everyone who logs on to dies in 48 hours. (I wonder if Dan Rather knows about this?!)

Considering the cast including Dorff (Blade), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game) and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), feardotcom should be a much better sight. Director William Malone pushes his characters through a dark and tangled mess of a movie, which is much too serious and intense for its own good. Before signing off, Dorff and McElhone get a chance to show that decent actors - like the characters they play - can have a bad day or two. Their confrontation with Rea's character, the sadistic Alistair Pratt, is thoroughly disappointing.

Malone went almost 15 years between horror films, directing Creature (1985) with Klaus Kinski and 1999's House on Haunted Hill, with feardotcom coming less than three years later. After watching all three of these features, I would have hoped that Malone would have stuck to his TV work (including "Tales From the Crypt" and the short-lived "The Others") and spared horror fans from this trio of cinematic turkeys.

© 2002, Delton Perrodin

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