Feardotcom

A police detective (Stephen Dorff) and a city health officer (Natascha McElhone) try to determine why people are dropping dead exactly 48 hours after they've logged on to a mysterious Web site; meanwhile a surgeon turned serial killer (Stephen Rea) tortures a young woman held down in part by a leather strap across her bare breasts. Like David Fincher's Seven, this sicko horror movie takes place in a perpetual midnight of shadowy apartments and gray blue office spaces, interrupted now and again by the Web site's frenzied and gruesome montage. The script, written by Josephine Coyle from a story by producer Moshe Diamant, labors to explain its murky premise with some mumbo jumbo about the “secret soul of the Internet,” yet its plot devices range from the unlikely (a video shot by the first two victims that handily explains their deaths) to the preposterous (a lipstick shell, dug out of a corpse, that contains a note with the serial killer's address—“Bingo!” exclaims the cop). William Malone directed this shameless exercise in high-tech sadism; with Udo Kier, Amelia Curtis, and a great cameo by Michael Sarrazin. 98 min.

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