.com for Murder (2002)

I like Nastassja Kinski; she’s gorgeous, incredibly appealing and attractive and a very talented actress. One of her best films is “American Rhapsody” where she so elegantly portrayed a fifties housewife. Roger Daltrey was a part of arguably the greatest rock band ever created, “The Who”. Being a hardcore fan of their music and rock in general, I’m always interested in what movies he’s in. Why is this such a hackneyed sophomoric cookie cutter thriller with two good actors on board? Maybe it’s because of the immensely recycled plot which attempts to become a remake of the Hitchcock masterpiece “Rear Window”.

There’s even elements here that borrow from that movie, but this doesn’t compare to that. What Hitchcock had over this film was simply that he was a genius director. He knew how to perfectly convey mood and atmosphere, he knew how to play with the audience’s nerves, and knew which cords to pull in the fright department. He was the master and we were his puppets used in his game of horror. “.Com for Murder” and director Nico Mastorakis (Blind Date, Sky High, In the Cold of Night) fails in every aspect of what may have been a good horror film. This film is so laden with attempts at borrowing from other films, its original product is lost in the process. Heck even the high tech computer system the characters use in the film is called HAL which is another attempt at winking an eye at the super-computer from the masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey”, but the name is such a blatant reference it becomes distracting.

The story written by Nico Mastorakis and Phil Marr dabbles heavily not only in clichés but in the illogical as well, often sparking many questions. When Sondra Brummel’s husband goes away, she instantly begins probing into his online account from a love connection website to see if he may be cheating. Wouldn’t the fact that he’s registered with a love website be a clue? Why does she seem so permissive in the beginning knowing he’s engaging in this website then attempt to see if he may be cheating on her? Why does he have such a ridiculous password which she happens to conveniently guess? The killer Werther is broadly based for such a film and never makes his mark in the story.

He may or may not be wealthy because he has high tech equipment, but it’s never touched on. He awkwardly quotes the story “Faust” in many parts of the film that seem to have no true importance or relevance other than to proclaim him as a possible genius. Why does Werther film his murder online live and send it to the people who are intent on capturing him? Jeffery Dean hams it up big time during the course of the film and either under-acts or over acts his role. Like a lot of these films, the director attempts to make computers interesting. He attempts to make sitting down in front of a screen while typing look like an adventure and feat. He does this by inserting badly dubbed voices posing as computer voices, bright neon lights and a lot of rapid fire graphics.

The killer Werther has a glow in the dark neon computer keyboard along with finger lights that shine down on the keys. Also in a far-fetched idea, the hacker Werther is able to hack into Sondra’s computer, access ID’s and control her computer while implanting animated text on the chat rooms. It’s highly improbable to do such a thing with a computer and the internet. There are characters played by people that don’t particularly fit their roles; Nicolette Sheridan is wasted along with Roger Daltrey who has a few minute role in the film and disappears, and has been Huey Lewis plays a gruff police officer. Ouch, this is a bad film full of contrivances, clichés, plot holes, and lapses in logic that bombard a terrible cookie cutter story and hackneyed direction. The only consolation is the adorable Nastassja Kinski.