2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
the last site you'll ever see... The plot here has very heavy echoes of The Ring with its "watch this and you'll die" set-up, not to mention the constant presence of a creepy little girl spectre; but where that film (and its American remake) had clever characters and insinuating situations, this one just has lots of scary imagery. It's about a cop (Dorff) and a health department worker (McElhone) investigating a string of suspicious deaths they eventually link to the clumsily named www.feardotcom.com website. It takes them a little longer to discover that the site exists to get revenge on the webmaster (Rea) of a snuff site. And as the grisly body count grows, they wonder if they'll be able to stop either the murderer or the murderous spirit hell-bent on getting even.

Not exactly a storyline for the ages, is it? In fact, the plot seems so whisper-thin that you're barely aware of it as you watch the film. Malone seems to have decided to make an entire movie patterned after the most grisly scenes in David Fincher's Seven--black-soot walls, slanting rays of light, smoke and steam billowing for no reason, and unspeakably gruesome things going on. Yes, it's rather terrifying, which is one thing in the film's favour. But it's empty terror--there's no sense of story or character to make it mean anything. It's merely a sequence of frightful scenes punctuated with vicious torture and extreme gore. Everything is heightened right off the scale--editing, sound, lighting, effects. This is a loud, jumpy movie in which the fairly solid cast just play it straight, as if all the mayhem around them is just another day's work. No, it makes no sense at all. But I've seen worse films ... this week.

cert 18 themes, violence, grisliness, language 16.Apr.03

dir William Malone
scr Josephine Coyle
with Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone, Stephen Rea, Amelia Curtis, Michael Sarrazin, Nigel Terry, Jeffrey Combs, Siobhan Flynn, Anna Thalbach, Jana Guttgemanns, Gesine Cukrowski, Udo Kier
release US 30.Aug.02; UK 27.Jun.03
02/US 1h41

Intrepid heroes. Our fearless duo (McElhone and Dorff) look through the case file in their smokey, blackened police station...

dorff mcelhone rea
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... the last site you'll ever see... Emma, Wales: 4 out of 5 stars "Wicked film! My mates and i watched it like 10 times in a week, sad i know, but do you blame me? the film was brilliant. BRING EM ON!" (22.Jan.04)
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall