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Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination 1998 - 2002
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Look out for more coverage of
Fear dot Com in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Fear dot Com

THE STARS:
Stephen Dorff • Natascha McElhone • Stephen Rea
DIRECTOR: William Malone

Natascha McElhone and Stephen Dorff THE CONCEPT:
People are dying 48 hours after logging on to the Internet website feardotcom.com.
Police detective Mike Reilly, teams with a Department of Health researcher, Terry Huston, to discover that these deaths are more terrifying than anything they could ever have dreamed of.

U.S. RELEASE: August 30 2002 • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

WILLIAM MALONE:
“The script was sent to me, and after House on Haunted Hill I was looking for something that would be a little off-beat. I thought that there was a really good idea here, and I think that we came up with something that’s strange and peculiar.

“The story is set in contemporary New York, but our vision for this concept required the setting and architecture of the 1930s-era industrial New York. Filming in Luxembourg with its opportune overcast skies and access to abandoned, decaying factories and warehouses allowed us the freedom to enact this vision.

“I wanted the film to be a nightmare in a way, so if you look at the movie you won’t see a modern building. It’s New York, but it’s New York in 1933 and not today, even though people have computers and modern cars.

“Bad weather in Horror films fell out of favor for awhile. It was something you would see in a movie from the Twenties or Thirties. You seldom see a thunderstorm in a modern film. I thought, ‘Why not? Let’s go back and do that,’ just like I brought back pipe-organ music in House on Haunted Hill… when was the last time you saw a scary movie with that?’

“I worked very hard with the production designer about stylistically where fear dot com should be. I really felt that it needed to be about decay, with a sense of creeping dread and rot, but I wanted it to be beautiful at the same time. I wanted a distinction between the modern technology of the internet and the old fashioned architecture.

“I always saw this as a movie about the stuff that’s in the corners of your mind, and that’s really what I wanted the film to be, because I personally find techno-thrillers to be ultimately boring.

”Anytime you try to scare an audience, I think sound is very important – sometimes the absence of sound can be very scary. Sometimes little suggestive things that are in the background that the audience is not necessarily even aware that they’re hearing, that are low fundamental sounds, work to add suspense.

“There are a lot of subliminal images in fear dot com like there were in The Exorcist. You’ll have to see them on your DVD. It’s all stuff that we shot specifically for it. There are scary faces, and one torture shot, but it goes by so quickly you won’t even notice it.

“I did research for this movie by going onto some (frightening) websites. I thought, ‘Whatever I do is going to be nothing compared to what I saw on these websites.’ There were some things that I borrowed, and then we cut them out because they were too intense. There was a girl being tortured, but at the end of it she smiles, and she’s having a great time, and you realize whatever is happening there, she’s totally with it. It was creepy.

“One of my favorite scary movies of all time is Alien. I think that when a film like that is done, it is high-art.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Fear dot Com site
Images above © Warner Bros
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Shivers, October 2002 cover

Keep your eyes wide open for more Horror in Shivers magazine and the latest film news and reviews in Film Review

Film Review, #622, September 2002 cover

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