A disgruntled horror
fan hits himself with a
hammer over and over
again after enduring a
showing of Cabin Fever.
Review written by: Alex Sandell
Whose dick did Cabin Fever Director and Screenwriter Eli Roth have to suck to get Peter Jackson to claim that his horror film was the one that fans had been waiting a decade to attend? Cabin Fever goes out of its way to be funny and elicits nary a laugh from the audience. It tries to be scary but isn't the slightest bit frightening. It attempts to be a gross-out fest but only once or twice does it actually succeed in being cringe-worthy. Even mainstream Hollywood pictures released this year, such as Freddy Vs. Jason or Final Destination 2 had more hardcore gore.
The only thing that would be decent about Cabin Fever would be the ending - IF IT WASN'T A COMPLETE RIP-OFF OF THE ORIGINAL NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD! Not to mention the ending is no where near as subtle as that given to us by George Romero and Duane Jones in NOTLD. The overgrown teeny-bopper in Cabin Fever is tempting fate with his over-acting and declaration of invincibility. By this point in the movie, I came to the conclusion that this is more like the film horror fans had been waiting a decade to avoid.
As far as the plot to the film goes, a group of five college students get done with their finals and go off to celebrate at a lonesome cabin out in the woods. For some reason it's fall out there in that forest. I was almost sure most people finished their finals in the spring, but that may be my whacky logic getting in the way of things, yet again. The teens are all retch-worthy two-legged stereotypes that you hope to watch endure a violent on-screen death.
These cardboard cutout college kids wind up at a gas station where they meet up with *gasp* REDNECKS! Oh ... my ... gawd! This has never happened in a horror film before.
For no reason, there's a redneck kid at the station who bites anyone who sits by him. Later in the movie we see a sign reading some clever warning such as, "don't sit next to Dennis."
Although the kid isn't infected with the "cabin fever," he can pull off some mean kung-fu moves. Think that psycho deadite at the end of the theatrical version of Army of Darkness, without the nifty makeup effects. Why is this mullet-headed maniac a karate chopping pro? It's never explained. I guess Eli thought it looked neat. And can anyone explain what's up with the bunny surgeon in the hospital?
There's also a brief subplot in Cabin Fever where the rednecks decide to chase one of the kids through the woods to kill him. They're blaming him for giving Dennis the fever. There's absolutely no explanation why these nutjobs aren't concerned about the health of their mini-Karate Kid, rather than hunting down some beer-drinking party dude. This whole "redneck chasing kids through the woods" thing was done far better in this summer's underrated Wrong Turn.
The college students in Cabin Fever meet up with a blood-spewing infected who's been made all the more nasty with some disease that she apparently caught from the folks in Dreamcatcher. It turns out the disease is coming from the water. The college kids drink the H20 and their skin starts falling off, turning them into blood-spewing "infecteds" of their own. During one of my favorite scenes, one of the kids has to take a shovel to another when she's obviously not going to make it. The camera shoots the guy holding the shovel from an upward angle mimicking all three Evil Dead movies to a "T." Sure, it wasn't original, but it made for an entertaining couple of minutes.
There is promise and potential around every corner in this film. It's too bad that the pacing of the movie is abhorrent. You'll find yourself bored, more often than not, while watching what is apparently a "greatest hit" clip from past horror flicks.
The end does finally become somewhat of the blood-bonanza we were promised in the ads, but it's too little too late. Due in large part to the incompetent and confused Roth, tension doesn't build throughout the film as much as it turns itself on and off like one of those annoying faucets in restrooms that you have no control over. Roth throws about 300,000 false-starts our way, but if you've seen more than 20 horror flicks in your life, you're not likely to receive even one good jolt; unless someone sitting behind you has a stun-gun.
There is a pretty funny moment after the Night of the Living Dead "homage," having to do with lemonade and spring water. It's then that the movie begins to show promise. Too bad that small section of film takes place during the closing credits. Oh well. At least Peter Jackson had a fun time coming up with a bullshit quote for the television ad.
On a scale of 1-10?
What does this rating mean? Everyone rates things differently. Your "5" could be my "7," or vice-versa. Find out what MY rating means by clicking here.
Agree? Disagree? Feeling bored and wanna write a letter that you'll probably never get a response to? Email me at email@example.com
Coming soon -- Reviews of Cold Creek Manor, Underworld, Lost in Translation and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!
Other recent film reviews on THE JUICY CEREBELLUM (click on a film's title to go to its review):
Cold Creek Manor
The Fighting Temptations
Lost in Translation
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Jeepers Creepers 2
Freddy Vs. Jason
Back to the movie reviews
Back to The Juicy Cerebellum
Like movies? LOVE THEM? Want the inside-scoop, cranky criticism and Juicy movie news, before the rest of the world? Sign up for the daily More On Movies Newsletter by simply sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org saying "Midgets Love Movies!" Remember, the last word on film, is Juicy!
Text ©(Copyright) 2003 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].