Awfully Good: Feardotcom + Transylvania 6-5000 (Video)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Feardotcom (2002)

Director: William Malone
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea

An evil website slowly drives its users insane until they die. And this was 10 years before Buzzfeed.

Here's the best example of how stupid and terrible FEARDOTCOM is. The original title was supposed to be the much more sensible FEAR.COM. However, the studio greenlit the film without checking to see if that domain name was available and when the actual owner of refused to sell them the rights to the URL, they decided to instead make the title FEARDOTCOM and change the website used in the movie to



Sadly, that's the only enjoyably bad part of FEARDOTCOM. Everything else is just bad in the most painful way possible. I can't remember another horror movie that was this dumb and still got a wide release. Characters constantly stroll in to dark, obviously dangerous places for baffling reasons. A little hemophiliac girl is terrified of sharp things, yet spends all her time playing inside a rusty old steel mill. And the police's resident tech guru/hacker still uses floppy disks in 21st century. Even worse than the abject stupidity on display is the fact that nothing about this film is remotely scary. Director William Malone thinks loud noises, crazy filters and a fast-moving camera is terrifying as opposed to annoying. He even completely wastes talented horror actors like Udo Kier and the Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs.

Leslie then realized she had accidentally logged on to FEARBONER.COM.

I also don't want to call FEARDOTCOM a ripoff of THE RING (or more accurately RINGU), but it definitely isn't not the exact same movie. It goes beyond random story elements or plot points being similar—this is almost a verbatim clone of a much superior film. Curious victims log on to a website where they're exposed to a montage of creepy images and a warning that they will die in exactly two days at the hands of a creepy little girl. Luckily there are clues hidden within the montage of creepy images that lead the female protagonist to the family of the little girl, where she learns about her tragic death. She rescues the girl's dead body from the water where she was buried, thinking that will stop the haunting—but it doesn't!

Sound familiar?

At least she's not a ginger.

The only different aspect to the film is the addition of a second killer known as The Doctor, played by Stephen Rea. The Doctor kidnaps women and tortures them to death on his website. (Rea is a fine actor, but he's laughable here thanks to an unfortunate choice of accent.) Hot on the madman's trail is embittered cop Stephen Dorff and Department of Health official Natascha McElhone. If you're wondering why the DOH is on a serial killer-ghost case, your guess is as good as mine. They figure out in the first 5 minutes that the victims don't have Ebola (too soon?) so there is literally no reason why McElhone is in the rest of the movie. It doesn't help that she gives an awful performance full of uncontrollable voice volume and constant utterings of "Oh my God!" Though that's still better than Dorff, who looks bored to even be getting a paycheck. Or their awkward chemistry-free romance together, which supposedly blossoms within minutes of meeting each other for no discernable reason besides compatible genitalia.

"You really want to cry? Let me tell you about this game I used to play…"

By the time the heroes figure out what's going on—the ghost/little girl was actually The Doctor's first victim and has since haunted his website and all those who log in—you're just praying for everyone in this movie to die violently. Dorff promises McElhone that he won't ever go on the site once they realize it kills its users, so of course literally the next scene is him logging on. We then see him getting taken away in an ambulance screaming at his new girlfriend, "Don't go to the site! Promise me you won't go!" I'll give you one guess as to what she immediately does.

"And this sculpture is titled 'The Flayed Carcass of Your Expired Career.'"

In the end, they defeat The Doctor by typing in the URL on his computer.

FEARDOTCOM is dumb beyond legally permissible levels.

The film's single good one-liner and some examples of Natascha McElhone's weird performance.

NONE. There is nothing "Best" in this movie.

Pretty much all nakedness comes from corpses or ladies in torturous situations. But hey, whatever floats your boat…

Got antivirus software on your computer? Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Natascha McEllhone says "Oh my God"
  • The creepy albino girl appears
  • Someone's use of technology is wrong
  • Jeffrey Combs has to have something repeated

Double shot if:

  • You see a dead girl naked

Check out this week's Awfully Good Movies as we continue our October Monster Mash, this time with TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000 starring Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, and Ed Begley Jr. Also, check out the other Monster Mash titles this month, BLACULA and THE WOLFMAN!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.


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