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"FEARDOTCOM"
(2002) (Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Extreme Extreme Heavy Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Moderate Extreme *None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: A detective joins a health worker in trying to figure out why various people are dying after logging on to the same Internet site.
PLOT:
Mike Reilly (STEPHEN DORFF) is a NYC detective who's called to the scene of a mysterious death in the subway system. The victim, Polidori (UDO KIER), has blood from his eyes and other orifices and by the frozen look on his face, appears to have been scared to death.

Department of Health researcher Terry Huston (NATASCHA McELHONE) is intrigued by the find as well, particularly when several more victims show up with identical bloodiness. When a contagious virus is ruled out, the two team up to discover what might be killing these people. After some digging for clues, they end up sending the victims' computer hard drives to forensic specialist Denise Stone (AMELIA CURTIS).

She ends up discovering that they visited a website called Feardotcom, but upon looking at the site herself, she's subjected to various sights and sounds of torture that eventually drive her crazy, resulting in her death. Terry eventually figures out that people who visit that website end up dying within 48 hours, apparently from what they feared the most in their lives. Yet, despite such knowledge, both she and Mike end up visiting the site.

As they begin to experience paranoia and hallucinations like the others including that of a young girl and her inflatable ball, they race against time to figure out what's going on and whether any of it has any connection to serial killer and sadist Alistair Pratt (STEPHEN REA) who's been eluding Mike for years.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into horror films or are fans of someone in the cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence including grisly images of torture, nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEPHEN DORFF plays a brash police detective who tries to figure out what's killing various people. He uses strong profanity.
  • NATASCHA McELHONE plays a health researcher who assists him and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • STEPHEN REA plays a sadistic serial killer who enjoys kidnapping and then torturing and terrorizing his victims.
  • AMELIA CURTIS plays a computer forensics specialist who ends up falling prey to the website.
  • JEFFREY COMBS plays Mike's cop partner who uses strong profanity and smokes a few times.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this horror film that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 15 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Bare breasts are seen on dead and live women, with the latter including one on videotape (in bikini-style panties) who apparently fools around with a man who's videotaping her (but nothing explicit is seen). In another scene, a woman comes out from beneath a table where a man is lying, but we don't know what was occurring.

    Violence consists of several deaths (a person being hit by a subway train, another thrown through a windshield, one landing on a car, another being shot and one being killed by spirits), some of which are bloody. They and various other scenes designed to be scary (including images of torture) might be unsettling, disturbing, suspenseful or frightening to some viewers (as accompanied by scary music and some jump scenes). Various dead and decomposed bodies are seen, as are various scenes where people have blood running from their mouths, noses, eyes or ears.

    The killer obviously has bad attitudes for capturing, torturing and killing his victims, while a few characters smoke or drink. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of lights on the screen, there are numerous scenes where that occurs in this film, including some of strobe intensity.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mike mentions that a dead man was formerly arrested for having "weed."
  • People drink in a bar, including one man who has a beer in front of him, drinks a shot of liquor and tells Mike and Terry that he's usually drunk by 8 P.M. Mike notes that it's only noon and the man says that he's ahead of the game.
  • Some guys playing cards have beer in front of them.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a little bit of blood from a man's nose. After a train hits him, he has blood from his mouth and then has bloody looking eyes.
  • A man is brought into the police station with blood coming from his nose and eyes.
  • We see a dead woman in a bathtub who has blood on her face.
  • Another dead man has blood on his face and we see that he wrote something in blood in German on a wall.
  • A woman has some blood on her finger (seen on videotape) and we then see blood from her nose. We then see her alive in the above bathtub with blood on her face.
  • A man has a little bit of blood from his nose and later has some on his hand.
  • We see a dead woman on an autopsy table and she's discolored, bloody and has crudely stitched scars on her chest.
  • We see a dead man with blood all over his face.
  • Denise smashes a large bug on her desk and its guts squirt out.
  • A woman has some blood from her mouth.
  • A woman has blood from her nose.
  • We see some quick flashed images of bloody people or blood pouring from one woman's mouth.
  • Terry has some blood from her nose and we see a few drops land on the papers below her. We then see what's presumably an imagined scene with lots of blood flowing across a table or desk.
  • Terry finds a submerged and partially decomposed body that she then drags out of the water. We later see that body on an autopsy table and some crudely sewn stitch marks are on her chest. A woman then places her hands inside the chest cavity of that body and retrieves a few bloody/gooey items.
  • Terry has more blood from her nose.
  • Terry finds a partially decomposed and/or dissected body in Alistair's place.
  • Alistair uses a scalpel to cut a t-shaped incision across a live woman's chest and we see the bloody line of the cuts.
  • We see a dead and bloody man that Alistair killed.
  • A man shoots another man in the leg, but that man then shoots the first in the chest (and both have blood around those wounds).
  • Several people have some bloody wounds.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Alistair obviously has bad attitudes for abducting, torturing and killing various women.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to viewers. In addition, much of the film takes place in dark and dingy environs that could be generally unsettling for viewers with low tolerance levels for such settings.
  • A man goes down into an empty subway tunnel where he sees a young girl playing with her ball on the tracks as a train approaches. He then jumps down to the tracks to try to save her, but she disappears and he then tries to avoid the train by plastering himself against a wall. At the last second, he then tries to dart across the train's path but it hits him and smashes him against a wall, killing him (and he's rather bloody).
  • Mike and other cops enter and slowly proceed through a dark and quite messy apartment, not sure of what they might find.
  • A woman arrives at a decrepit and dark theater and then wanders through it, calling out for a stranger she earlier met. We then see that someone is videotaping her and then see a man grab her from behind and struggle with her (with his hand across her mouth).
  • A man suddenly sees a young girl outside his car window and drops his cigarette into his lap. As it starts to catch on fire, the man finds he can't get out of the car that then suddenly takes off on its own. It speeds through an industrial area and into a factory where it slams into a wall, sending him flying through the windshield to his death.
  • Scenes where Alistair threatens his bound captive might be unsettling or disturbing to viewers (especially with the woman sounding quite panicked). In one, he takes a long pin of some sort and apparently runs it into her (we hear her muffled screaming).
  • At various times during the film, including when various people visit the website, we see quick flash/subliminal images of torture and hear related sounds and screaming, all of which might be unsettling to viewers. The same happens at the end of the film, where many such images flash by.
  • After Denise visits the website and then leaves the computer, it comes back on to that site and calls out her name.
  • Denise becomes paranoid while walking up a stairwell and suddenly sees a recurring child's ball that then melts down into a ball of cockroaches, and she then flees in terror.
  • Denise imagines seeing a tremendous amount of cockroaches approaching and then climbing onto her in her place. She panics and looks into the mirror and we then see more roaches on her and one coming out of her mouth.
  • Mike becomes disoriented after visiting the website and has some encounters that might be creepy or scary to some viewers (in an elevator, etc.).
  • The same then happens to Terry as we see more flash/subliminal images of violence and blood.
  • Terry goes to an old steel mill at night, encounters a creepy looking homeless lady and then goes into a deep and murky body of water there with a flashlight where she suddenly comes across a partially decomposed body. She brings it back to the surface and onto a platform where the head suddenly turns and stares at her (but Terry's only imaging that).
  • Terry gets a telephone call from the same woman's voice on the Internet site that asks if she's ready to play. She then sees the girl's ball, slowly follows it down a hallway, and ends up in the basement of a building.
  • Mike kicks open a door and enters Alistair's place with Terry (both of whom are hallucinating) not sure of what they might find.
  • Alistair uses a scalpel to cut a t-shaped incision across a live woman's chest.
  • As Alistair prepares to kill his next victim, Mike and Terry race there to find and stop him. A violent encounter then ensues.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Scalpel: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck /is going on with his eyes/are you talking about?" "Don't let it f*ck with your head," "F*ck if I know," "F*cked up," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "Will you shut the f*ck up?" "Haven't done sh*t," "Load of sh*t," "Sh*tholes," "Pissed off," "Creeps me out" and "My ass."
  • It's possible the film could inspire some kids to look for websites that purportedly show live deaths or torture, etc.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Those with low tolerance levels for such scenes will probably be startled by them, but veteran horror movie watchers probably won't.
  • A man suddenly grabs a woman from behind.
  • A man suddenly sees a young girl outside his car window.
  • A body suddenly lands on top of a car.
  • A woman suddenly screams.
  • We suddenly see a partially decomposed body under the water.
  • The head of a dead body suddenly turns and looks at someone (accompanied by sudden music).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, but a song has lyrics that can't be understood, thus offering the possibility of some potentially objectionable material.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 15 "f" words, 8 "s" words, 1 ass, 1 damn, 9 uses of "Oh my God," 4 of "Jesus Christ," 3 of "Jesus," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a dead woman in a bathtub and see her bare breasts.
  • Mike and Terry watch video footage from a video camera found at a crime scene. On it, we see a young German couple and then see the woman in a small bra and panties. She then removes the top (we see her bare breasts) and then gets on top of the guy (seen from his point of view through the camera).
  • We see a dead woman on an autopsy table and see her bare breasts.
  • Alistair takes a scalpel and cuts open his female captive's shirt and then cuts open her bra, revealing part of her bare breasts. He mentions all sorts of things taking place on the Internet including sex. We later see that bound woman with a large strap across her bare breasts (thus, we see some of them, but not the nipple area). We later see her with that same strap across her breasts as well as her in small bikini style panties.
  • Mike and Terry go to see a person in a bar where they see a woman come out from beneath the table in front of him (but we don't know what she was doing).
  • We partially see Denise in her bra.
  • We see brief flash images of bare-breasted women.
  • We see bare breasts on a partially decomposed dead body.
  • Another dead body shows bare breasts.
  • We see a woman's bare breasts.
  • SMOKING
  • Terry's boss and Mike's partner each smoke several times, while some miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Terry and Mike talk to a woman whose husband has just been killed (she's rather calm, but obviously upset).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Internet and sites that purportedly show death scenes, etc.
  • Hemophiliacs.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A man goes down into an empty subway tunnel where he sees a young girl playing with her ball on the tracks as a train approaches. He then jumps down to the tracks to try to save her, but she disappears and he then tries to avoid the train by plastering himself against a wall. At the last second, he then tries to dart across the train's path but it hits him and smashes him against a wall, killing him (and he's rather bloody).
  • Although we don't see the acts, we do see the bodies of many of Alistair's victims that he killed before the film begins.
  • Mike and Terry watch video footage from a video camera found at a crime scene. On it, we see a young German couple and then hear sounds of violence and see the man going crazy.
  • We see a man grab a woman from behind and struggle with her (with his hand across her mouth and we hear more sounds of her screaming).
  • An out of control car slams into a wall, sending its driver flying through the windshield to his death.
  • At various times during the film, including when various people visit the website, we see quick flash/subliminal images of torture and hear related sounds and screaming.
  • Denise smashes a large bug on her desk and its guts squirt out.
  • Alistair takes a long pin of some sort and apparently runs it into a bound woman (we hear her muffled screaming).
  • A body suddenly lands on top of a car, smashing the roof and killing the person.
  • Mike kicks open a door and enters with his gun drawn.
  • We see a dead and bloody man that Alistair killed (we don't see the violence, just the results).
  • A man shoots another man in the leg, but that man then shoots the first in the chest (that man eventually dies from that wound). The second shooter then holds a scalpel to a bound woman, but another woman stabs something into that man's neck or back. In turn, however, he stabs something into her and struggles with her.
  • Spirits from the Internet kill a man (apparently by terrorizing him) and we see many more images of tortured victims.



  • Reviewed August 28, 2002 / Posted August 30, 2002

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

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