New film cheap imitation

Devinn Winkleman


Grade: C-

One of 2000’s best psychological thrillers, “The Cell,” was imitated by the recently released movie “feardotcom.”

But “feardotcom” only serves as a blurred carbon copy.

Both movies have a psychopathic killer who slowly tortures his victims, cops trying to track down the killer via online communications and bizarre images and special effects.

There are several areas where “feardotcom” separates itself from being as good as “The Cell.” The movie constantly uses the same visual effects throughout the movie and never forks off into using anything different. And these same special effects are rather bland, unimaginative and do a better job at annoying viewers than they do at scaring anyone.

Also the story is rather tedious, being drawn out and somewhat confusing. Why was it confusing? While watching the movie, the viewer is presented with two separate stories that have nothing to do with one another until finally connecting at the end.

One of the story lines is that the victims of the “feardotcom” site log on to the site and it literally takes over their minds. The users slowly lose their sense of reality, go into hysterics, experience hallucinations and then die by living out their phobias some 48 hours after viewing the site.

The other story is that “The Doctor,” a.k.a. Alistair Pratt (Stephen Rea) has been stalking cop Mike Reilly, (Stephen Dorff) through a series of letters for several months.

Reilly can’t figure out who this person is, and it’s eating him up that the police department gave his case to the feds.

In between several segments of jumbled storyline, Pratt approaches his next victim and tells her to meet him at a theater stage. The victim does and is kidnapped. Pratt takes her to his little hideaway so he can torture her.

Then “feardotcom” subscribers can watch the live feed of the victims being tortured.

While trying to piece the two stories together so the movie makes sense, you’ll end up getting more confused than before, and you still won’t figure out what’s going on.

But don’t try to figure it out. Just wait for the closing credits – that’s the sign where you can safely exit the movie theater with your sanity intact.

Also, you won’t feel any remorse for the tribulations of the characters at all. They’re so bland and boring that you’ll want to see one of the characters get knocked off if only so they’ll quit talking.

Over all, don’t bother watching “feardotcom.” It’s a blatant ripoff of “The Cell.” Besides, why watch a knock-off when you can see the original, which is a far better movie than this all-special-effects-and-no-plot movie.