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By James Whittington, Wednesday 7th June 2017
From Demon Seed in 1977 to Videodrome in 1983, to Ringu in 1998, with every passing decade comes another step in technological evolution and with it a new wave of anxiety as the human race contends with a society run not by themselves but by computers, machines, and the elusive nature of A.I.
It's interesting to witness and live through these changes. I remember the 'dawning' of the internet! It only came into domestic use in the very late '90s and was at the time a hot topic for debate at my University; What impact will the World Wide Web have on us?! We weren't quite living it then - social networking was yet to be invented - but we still knew it would forever change us. The World Wide Web will always be a reflection of ourselves; at once illuminating, emancipating, but also terrifying. While it can be a medium for healthy change and freedom, it can also provide a space for dark souls to lurk... Whatever your grey matter desires; it's out there at the touch of a button.
The early noughties were host to massive changes with Myspace launching in 2003 followed by Facebook in '04; our identities were changing, our privacy questioned, and of course the movie industry followed suit. On the cusp of such significant cultural change came two films in 2002 - My Little Eye and Feardotcom - both dealing with the concept of violence being up for grabs on that slippery World Wide Web and this Saturday comes the network premiere of Feardotcom.
Snuff films used to be on the 1980s medium of choice, the VHS, but with the accessibility of the web it has become far easier to go online for your daily dose of torture. So begins this strange film blending online depravity with ghost story, supernatural curse and serial killer thriller. When dead bodies show up across New York with blood pouring from their eye sockets, two professionals are brought in on the case - Terry (Natascha McElhone), a department of health specialist in viruses and diseases, and Mike (Stephen Dorff), a detective in the New York Police - who approach the murders from very different perspectives but must work together.
It soon transpires however that the virus concerned is of the technological not biological type, as the victims all logged on to the dubious site Feardotcom 48 hours before their death. The path leads them to a sadistic mad doctor (Stephen Rea) who tortures and kills women for various subscribers to the site; but who or what is behind this fresh lot of dead bodies? And what really happens to your mind when you decide to leave reality behind and enter the morbid world of Feardotcom? For this is a place that knows your worst nightmares and will use them against you.
The film is a nightmarish blend of urban decay with surreal imagery and techno-infused hallucination and while the kids of today may chortle at the seemingly crude graphics and slow search engines, for Generation Y what's really disturbing is the fact that one day we're merely watching Sci-Fi, and the next, we're living it.
Feardotcom makes its Network Premiere this Saturday 10th June at 10.55pm.
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Posted in Interviews, Wednesday 2nd October 2019
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Posted in Interviews, Monday 30th September 2019
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