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Carl the Critic: Talks about "fear dot com"

Updated on July 19, 2011

"fear dot com" Poster

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Carl the Critic: Talks about: fear dot com"

Experience/Expectations: I saw a movie a few years ago called "House On Haunted Hill," which was an updated version of a William Castle classic by the same name. It was directed by William Malone, a man who had great potential to being one of the Masters of Suspense of our time. Now that I think about it, he is like one of Hollywood's great Masters of Suspense "Tobe Hopper." Why him? Because after a few classic horror films under his belt he started making some really bad horror films and was not heard from again. In a way "fear dot com" was William Malone's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2," but this statement would be more accurate if the cinematography was even worse and if Leatherface made an appearance. But before I get ahead of myself, let's gather around the campfire and hear a "scary" story.

Story: There have been a string of deaths that have been occurring, and everyone suffers the same side effects. Everyone has been bleeding from the eyes and mouth, and have died forty-eight hours after they go to the site: feardotcom.com (which now I think about it is an awkward name for a site.) But why? And more importantly, why do I feel like I've been down this road before? ("Ringu," "The Ring," "Chakushin ari," "One Missed Call," "Final Destination," etc.)

The main characters are Detective Mike, and Terry (who is a part of the Department of Health), and both of whom are investigating the deaths of five people. But they learn that the only way to solve these murders is to become the victims themselves.

We also learn that there is a crazy doctor (who looks a lot like Tim Burton), who poses as a film maker in order to lure women to his studio so he can torture them, and film it so he can put it on the internet. He even has a little feature on his site that allows people to vote which object he should use (and more often than not, everyone votes for the scalpel.)

Critique: We all have seen the "Ring," right?... No?... Well let's pretend that you did! Remember the scene where the girl Samara was flossing the dead baby's out of her teeth?... Of course not! It would have been really boring, and irrelevant, but basically that's what "fear dot com" basically is, if you also include some pretty crappy cinematography, and where everything is very dark and it's hard to see what's going on.

But on the other hand like the movie "The Gamer," there are glimps of potentiality and an idea is clearly present. The idea circles around the concept of pornography, but not the sexual kind (although that can certainly be a part of it), it deals more with death pornography. The concept of death pornography is based on an idea that we see death, as being taboo, and is exploited through our everyday lives (in this case the internet.) An example of this is seen in commercials of today, beauty products, hygiene products, and other things that are being advertised that try to help us deny death, or growing old. This film takes this idea, and tries to make it like the sexual pornography on the websites, as an erotic, sick obsession that people have.

Although the movie tries to do this, it fails for a number of reasons. One of them being the cinematography [which was not as good as Malone's other film "House on Haunted Hill," because you can actually see what's going on (whether you wanted to or not)]. The other problem was the writing in general. Often there was some dialogue which was not necessary, awkward, and even redundant. For example there was a shot of a crime scene where Detective Mike and Terry were in a bathroom, where a naked German girl had just drowned in the bathtub. Terry found a camcorder next to the tub, and asked for "a plastic bag" for evidence. At this Detective Mike replies "Say! That's evidence!" (because you can not see the expression on my face, I should tell you that I am rolling my eyes and smacking my face with my palm.)

It's a good concept, but the ideas that are presented are not. The dialogue is not the best, and also, by the end of the film I still had so many questions.

Over all: Well it has potential, I hope William Malone continues to make horror films because he has some talent, but I hope they are not like "fear dot com." So I gave it a 4.5 out of 10, for the potential, but not the presentation.

What about you?

If you saw the movie "fear dot com," what did you think?

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