First and foremost, FeardotCom can easily be blamed with plagiarism and with good reason. Ringu (and more recently The Ring) visibly served as a model: a website that brings death instead of a videotape, 48 hours to live instead of seven days, a little girl and her white dress, insects, the man and woman who lead the investigation also become victims are only some of the analogies that can be made between both films.
It isn’t the general atmosphere nor is it the actors that ruin this film. The scenario is so weak and disorganized that we quickly disconnect. The characters are badly defined and the story is simply not very good. It would have required more effort to make us believe that a website can wreck this much havoc but, in my opinion, it would have been possible.
At a certain point, the film takes an interesting turn, even though it is cliché. Terry suggests that the victims die of their greatest fear. Sadly, this aspect isn’t reinforced further on. These kinds of lures help make FeardotCom so painful to watch.
The hallucinations scenes are the most remarkable. They remind us of the illogical world of dreams. They are also the scariest aspect of the film. Good visual direction helps create this film’s irreproachable atmosphere. It could have been an interesting production had it chosen a different path.