This loathsome exercise combines the worst aspects of nu-metal horror and mid-budget cop thriller, and if it's redundant to say "not in a good way," then certainly not in a casual way. It seems to have actively sought out the stupidest parts of each genre in an institutional gray-brown mess featuring the least inventive bad guy/s in memory, and possibly the most tenuous explanation of evil in the history of horror film.
Stephen Dorff is as bad as he was in Blade; Stephen Rea plays it like he's working on a drunken impression of Geoffrey Rush at his campiest - he must have prepared by watching director William Malone's last outing, House on Haunted Hill. To say that a performance falls far short of Geoffrey Rush in House on Haunted Hill, well, it's saying a fair bit.
Why combine these aspects of horror and cop thriller? No one but Se7en has ever really pulled it off, and so many individual horror and cop flicks of recent years have fallen prey to the most embarrassing conventions of genre theory that I can't imagine willingly embracing probably the second-worst mistake of crime thriller and the #1 pitfall of horror.
Fear.com shapes deeply its Ringian ancestry, and in the end I hate to invoke the name of that film, lest folks who enjoyed The Ring be inclined to seek out f.c for its Ringlike qualities, but steer clear; better to see a dozen semi-flawed straight remakes (see The Ring, 2002) than one sodden bit of thievery stretched on the decaying skeleton of the worst genre cliches.
Rating: F-Reviewed by Matthew Abrams