cabin feverLions Gate
2002
R

“That guy asked for our help. We lit him on fire. You’ll understand if I’m not in a particularly social mood.”

Five recent college graduates go up to a remote cabin to celebrate, and after running afoul of some odd locals and some guy trying to steal their truck, catch a nasty flesh-eating virus. The paranoia rises between the five friends as they try to keep from contracting the nasty bug, while locking the ones infected away…

After doing a little research behind the making of this forgettable little disaster-based horror flick, it seems Eli Roth’s first film here was inspired after he had a nasty allergic reaction to some hay bales while in Iceland. Interesting. It also seems he considers this movie a “tribute”, of sorts, to the movies Evil Dead (outside of the remote cabin, don’t see it), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (don’t see it), and Last House On The Left (haven’t seen that one yet, so I wouldn’t know…yet). Methinks that Mr. Roth was trying to stir up some pre-release interest in a film that he probably knew wasn’t that up to snuff.

Really, Cabin Fever is relatively watchable. I say “relatively” because, for some a movie with your usual bunch of lead protagonists with little going for them regarding personality (thus leading the viewer to root for their messy death early on) and a plot that doesn’t require too much thought investment and a lot of gore is the perfect recipe for a nice horrific thrill ride. And I admit there are many times when that’s the kind of movie I’d like to kick back and relax to, after a hard day of dealing with the zombified retail masses.

Cabin Fever, as a first effort, is fun to watch. Roth seems to have a good eye for filming the genre, setting the dread with some style. Watching the cast all get the skin rash from hell one by one, with the paranoia kicking in big time, leading to some interesting bits of gore-filled wackiness is amusing to watch. The thing is, the script tries to inject some humor into the mix, which is to be expected…if done right. Here, it just seems out of place and forced (especially with that bit involving a local shopkeeper that you have to wait until the very end to get the punchline…woof).

In the end, Cabin Fever is one of those horror movies that you forget about once the end credits begin to roll. I actually had to rewatch this just to remember much of the details. Good for a rental or two, nothing worthy of ownership really…