A Painful Look Back at ‘FearDotCom,’ the Embarrassing Time Hollywood Tried to Make the Internet Scary

In the early 2000s, the internet was just emerging from its AOL-soaked infancy and Hollywood, always eager to take something new that it didn’t understand and try to make people fear it, decided that this network of tubes was perfect fodder for a horror movie.

Thus, they begat FearDotCom, a movie that asked the question, what if the internet decided to murder you with your worst nightmares within 48 hours of logging on to a site.

I know what you’re thinking… Hey, that’s almost the same plot as The Ring! Well… you’re right, only this movie is more like The Ring Two. Heck, this movie is Rings.

Then again, that’s an insult to Rings.

A rash of internet related deaths rouses the suspicions of a cop played by Stephen Dorff and a Health Official played by Natascha McElhone who decide that the only way to figure out how to stop the deaths is to expose themselves to the very thing that is causing the deaths in the first place.

In other news, a Doctor searching for a way to cure HIV has purposefully infected himself, an environmentalist has arranged for his backyard to be turned into a landfill, and a marine biologist is dumping oil in the ocean to clean up pollution.

There’s one or two or thirty things about this movie that I just don’t understand.  If, as the movie suggests, feardotcom.com is being visited by thousands of people a day, why aren’t thousands of people a day dying?  I mean, wouldn’t that raise a teensy red flag with the authorities somewhere?

As you can pretty much tell, this is one pile of a movie.  Something else: it’s boring.  Boring as all get out. 

This movie is made up of a shoestring plot and a silly love story that comes out of left field with no warning at all… as if the Kool-Aid man burst through the wall and said, “Oh yeah!  You’re in LOVE!”

The rest of the movie goes by and makes the ticks between the seconds seem like an eternity.  The screenplay is muddled, the dialogue is atrocious, and the actors just seem to be slumming it for this movie’s seemingly endless runtime.

This is just one of those movies that just tries to capitalize on a bad idea.  Not just a bad idea, but a pukr poor stupid harebrained idea that no one short of a few people hopped on crack would be remotely interested in.

There are some creepy visuals and two pretty good cheap scares, but for the most part this is one movie that is www dot dumb dot com… dot org.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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