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After an extended period of horror being declared dead, Cabin Fever was the one that brought American Horror back up to scratch and back to the roots of the genre's late seventies/ early eighties hayday. We're talking blood and guts here, which was refreshing in 2003 when horror was more defined by the sixth sense (despite it's guise as a thriller) and the american remakes of j horror films trend kicked off by The Ring.
I may be slightly biased towards this film given the environment in which i saw it. I was thirteen and just beginning to get into horror by way of my friends older brother's dvd collection, an all too familiar situation i'm sure, and this film I think was at the forefront of a wave of 'true horror' films that were lacking in the 90s most likely being attributable to the success of scream a few years earlier. These films included jeepers creepers, wrong turn and such, none of which have had the staying power of Cabin fever.
The film is directed by Eli Roth, now of Hostel and Inglorious Basterds fame, although you'd be mistaken to judge this on his other films. The gore feels as though it serves more purpose and it has subtext, layers and likeable, interesting characters that perhaps the Hostel films lack. The film, like American Werewolf in London and Evil Dead also pulls off being horrific whilst being hilarious at the same time.
If you're a Horror fan, then no doubt you have seen this film and if you have, the dvd release is well worth buying, especially for a single disc release. It contains I think six commentaries, all of which featuring Eli Roth with a different section of the cast or crew, a very nicely put together making of documentary, which runs at a good length (30 mins), a genuinely interesting interview with Eli Roth talking about his interest in Horror and some good advise for aspiring filmmakers, and all three episodes of a stop motion animation Roth was involved in called 'The Rotten Fruit' which is mildly entertaining.
also:Along with the Wicker Man, this is the best horror you'll get with a 15 certificate
Cabin Fever is like any other terrible, teenage, horror flick that has been released in the last 10 years. But I cant help but love it!!
The first scenes are of a group of teenagers on their way to a short getaway in a remote cabin in the hills. The teenagers are:
Paul - Rider Strong
karen - Jordan Ladd
Bert - James Debello
Marcy - Cerina Vincent
Jeff - Joey kern
We soon learn that Jeff and Marcy are a couple, who plan to spend the trip in bed. Paul and karen have been friends for years, but Paul has always been in love with karen and plans to tell her on the trip. And Bert is a bit of a clown who plans to spend the trip drunk.
In the first cabin scenes, Bert goes out with a gun to shoot some squirrels. When he sees something run past out of the corner of this eye, he turns and shoots. Only to realise that he has shot a man! He promises to go and get help, but when he returns to the cabin he doesn't do anything. Later that night, the man comes to the cabin looking for help. After a lot of commotion, he catches fire and ends up falling into the lake.
The next day, Paul finds that karen is suffering from a strange skin condition which seem to be eating at her skin. The group worry that it may be infectious and make her sleep in a shed outside the cabin.
However, one by one the others begin to find that they are suffering from the same condition.
With many factors stopping them from leaving the cabin, the group try to find help so that they can get some medical attention.
I don't want to give much more away so will leave it there.
As I have already said, although this is a typical teenage horror movie, I cant help but love it and watch it over and over again. It is very easy to follow and not difficult to understand what is happening once you get into it.
It is difficult to recommend this to someone, as if you love horror movies you will probably hate this. But someone who loves comedies isn't likely to like it. I'd probably say give it 10 minutes and see how you feel :)
I'm going to write the review in a different way for once because there isn't a lot to talk about the individual characters more as a group so here's a list of the characters.
Bert - James DeBello
Paul - Rider Strong
Karen - Jordan Ladd
Jeff - Joey Kern
Macy - Carina Vincent
These five characters have just finished school and have decided to go on a trip to an isolated cabin where they can get drunk and be together as a group and have fun. After an interesting visit to the local shop to pick up supplies they make it to the cabin, which seems like a perfect getaway.
Paul has loved Karen for a while and he sees this as a perfect getaway for them to finally get together, which they do seem to after a nice swim. As Jeff and Macy are pre-occupied doing their own things as a couple Bert decides to go on a walk with his gun to go and shoot some squirrels.
While shooting squirrels he accidentally shoots a man who seems to be unwell, he quickly runs away and wants to forget that it happened. But unfortunately that doesn't happen. That evening the man goes to their cabin in the woods asking for help. He is obviously ill after vomiting blood everywhere and his skin being red raw, but the teenagers don't know what to do and are too scared to help him. It ends with the stranger running away into the woods on fire.
After this happens Paul wakes up while wanting to pleasure his new girlfriend Karen it seems that she has caught some kind of virus and the skin on her legs is disappearing. They put her into the shed outside for fear of catching what she has, but they don't know how she got it or what exactly it is.
Although there are lots of bad reviews about this film I really enjoyed it, I really have a soft spot for badly acted horror films so this was right up my street (American Nightmare anyone?) I found that the topic that they choose was a lot more interesting that the usual deserted cabin with a murderer on the loose. I really liked the idea of a flesh eating bug in a horror story.
The characters were a bit of a laugh especially Jeff, he looked about ten years older than the other characters in this film and was just plain irritating. You would never believe that they had just graduated or they were meant to be as young as they should be.
I really liked some of the humour in this film, be it dark but this film really did make me laugh. Like the moments with the gun in the shop and of the storytelling around the fire , but then I do have a really bad sense of humour.
Cabin Fever is what I would describe as a designer horror film, quite glossy in the way that it is delivered however it rather lacks depth and the real intensity that you get from a top quality horror film.
You also geta sense of having seen it all before especially if you have seen the Evil Dead horror film, directed by Eli Roth it has a high quota of gore with bodies being torn to shreds in liberal doses and while it has a high shock value it lacks any real soul and comes across as being rather empty and insipid.
A group of teenagers go off to a cabin in the woods to do what teenagers do when in a cabin in the woods however a skin virus takes hold of them and they begin to mutate with some rather horrible consequences.
Overall the film fails to deliver in any depth and with a largely second rate cast consisting of actors like Rider Strong and Jordan Ladd the film is rather poor and not one that I would recommend. My advice is to avoid this turkey of a film and go for a more cerebral horror film.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Eli Roth is best known for his Hostel series of horror films, which have caused the mass media to latch on to the term "torture porn", as in films that exploit the strange human curiosity for us to see people torn to shreds in exchange for a feeling of excitement and entertainment. In making Cabin Fever, made for a paltry $1.5m, Roth proclaimed that he was fed up of modern horror films, and how so often they have reduced the gore and become too "glossy", dilluting the visceral experience that so many great horrors from the 80s, such as the Evil Dead films, managed to muster. Cabin Fever is this antidote, although it isn't all smooth sailing.
The premise is simple; it revolves around a group of dumb teens as usual, who go to a log cabin in the woods (reminiscent of Evil Dead, obviously), but soon find some strange things happening as an odd skin virus begins mutating them one by one, in some very grotesque and horrific ways. While Roth manages to sustain tension, the problem is that it doesn't do enough to give itself an identity, and lazily leans on the conventions of 80s fare to get by. However, the gore effects are very impressive for the budget, and there is a hilarious cameo by a young hick boy who incessantly screams "PANCAKES!" at one of the teens; watch out for it.
The premise for this film screams "Evil Dead", yet this film lacks the craftsmanship of that film, and instead is just rudimentary horror schtick with buckets of gore, even if it's easy to admire Roth's attempt to differentiate himself from the modern "glossy" horror films that have become tiresome recently.
Film only review
Before Eli Roth grossed us all out with Hostel he gave us Cabin Fever. Released on DVD in 2002 the story follows a group of friends as they spend a weekend away in a cabin in the woods wanting to party and have a good time. One of the party comes down sick with a strange illness which spreads quickly and results in the group of friends having to fight to stay alive as they become infected with the unknown illness.
Featuring a cast of relatively unknown actors the five main characters carry the film well, the acting is pretty much of a standard quality for the film of this genre and although none of them would win an Oscar they are competent and believable in their plight. Good camera work and steadicam shots serve to provide a creepy atmosphere and the tension does build throughout the film.
Although only rated 15 there are some very gory scenes in the film which serve pretty much as a precursor to what Roth gave us in Hostel, the blood and gore featured are quite intense and you do need a strong stomach to sit through some of the nastier parts of the film. An example would be when one of the characters is shaving her legs in the bath it's not only unwanted hair that gets removed in the process, and if you are fond of dogs then this film could certainly change your opinion of them!
The film borrows heavily from "The Evil Dead" and there are deliberate "homage's" included if you watch out for them, for Roth's debut though it is a well conceived and well delivered horror film that should be part of a horror fans collection. I thought it was a decent film that deserved checking out especially if you like Roth's later films - to me I think he used this film to try some ideas before pushing the limits with the "torture porn" that Hostel turned in to.
A respectable 4/5 Dooyoo stars from me, nowhere near as nasty as Hostel, but a great first film.
Cabin Fever is available from Amazon priced at £4.98 new, but can be bought considerably cheaper from Market Place.
Cabin Fever is Eli Roth's film debut, and I wish he'd never bothered. It's truly dire in almost every single way.
This pitiful excuse for a horror film seems to aim to disgust rather than scare its viewers, a trend Roth would continue to pursue with his Hostel films. The plot is no more complex than your simple 'teenagers go to a cabin in the woods and bad stuff happens' archetype; this would be forgiveable if the film brought something new to the genre. It does not.
The characters are all loathsome, the directing is bland, the story is dull. I found it impossible to care about what was going on beyond vaguely hoping that the flesh-eating virus would kill everyone nice and quickly so the end of the film could come. There is one genuinely unsettling scene, in which a girl afflicted with the afore-mentioned virus attempts to shave her legs... I'm sure you see where that's going. Which is another problem the film has, predictability.
Though unintentionally laughable for the most part ("PAAANCAAAAKES!"), all but one of the jokes that were intended to be funny were simply puerile or offensive. The funny joke was to do with an old man and his purposes for keeping a rifle (it seems offensive when brought up at the beginning of the film, but in the last scene there's a great twist that actually had me laughing out loud). All the other 'jokes' of this calibre: "Why do you want to to shoot squirrels?" asks one character. "Because they're gay," quips the comic-relief character. Oh such hilarity. Truly Roth is a great comedy genius.
Admittedly, comedy isn't what the film is about, but when your horror film fails to inspire horror, you could really do with having something to fall back on. This film fails on almost every count - it wasn't scary, it wasn't funny and crucially it wasn't entertaining. Avoid.
I did not check out the special features, as I thoroughly loathed the film and gave the DVD away as fast as physically possible.
I love horror movies. And even though this one has all of the horror movie attributes, is for me one of the worse horror movie I have ever seen. Sure, there is a lot of blood splashing, naked chicks, sudden deaths and unexpected survivors. And there is a lot of gore moments - it really does have all of horror movies attributes, but still something is lacking.
Story is still very typical. Five students went on a trip. They hire a cabin somewhere in the woods. Probably Virginia, or something similar. The group consist a couple (strange, narcissist guy and beautiful women), a shy and always good guy kind a man (who is also in love in his sexi childhood friend), this sexi friend is also in the group. Then we have a guy whose only occupation is to drink beer and shooting squirrels. On there first night of their vacation strange thinks started to happen. A loner, who lives in the forest, is infected with a deadly, flesh eating bacteria (we never find out, why he and his dog had got it). And when he seeks for help, he scares the young group and they drive him away. He dies, but not before he infects the water supply for the cabin. And because they believe that water in drinkable, soon one of the group is infected also. The others lock it in the shed. But that doesn't stops the bacteria to spread. The infected ones just become sick and start to bleed. Bleed and rot, until they die. The shy guy loses some of his shyness, while trying to survive. The narcissistic guy, runs away.
But there we also have some kid, that bites people, why we don't know. And some local farmers, sheriffs, grocery store owners, who decide that it's better if they just shot the sick instead of healing him. They kill even a guy who isn't sick. And that scene is a pale copy from George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (a true masterpiece if I may say so).
Now the director who is also the screenwriter did got what he asked for, but what was asked for truly s****. Actors did there job in the way it was expected from them, no great performances, shinning moments, just mediocre acting. And that is probably the thing that makes the movie to flow, and not sink to dose extremely bad horror movies. I have read only good thing about the movie, but after seeing this I was disappointed. It seems that I have more demanding taste for horror movies than most of the worlds population.
Now, i know this is a widely rubished film, but as a fan of needless gore and fairly weak scripts, i kind of liked it, although it has its massive flaws.
5 friends decide to escape to a cabin in the woods for a week, though a horrific flesh eating virus has just started to run havok in the area. As the hapless young adults get drunk and make love, the virus creeps up on them, with pretty disgusting results.
Now, i know it sounds horrible, but then what did you expect? So, look forward to scenes of unnecessary nudity, violence, swearing, and fairly bad directing, interspersed with a pretty original horror idea which is done reasonably well enough to make what is in my eyes an entertaining movie.
The acting is as you would expect not the best. Rider Strong is Paul, the fairly happless good guy who is in love with his childhood friend Marcy (Cerina Vincent) The blooming romance between them is about as plausible as me creating offspring with a baboon, but luckily the horror scenario prevents it from going on too long.
We have of course the cool, attractive couple, who are both clearly undesirable people, and their action skills would suggest that they are equally undesirable in real life.
I actually quite like James DeBello as Bert, who brings a bit of humour to the film, and although he is far from a nice guy, is more likeable than the others.
Eli Roth, the director, has a scene as a stoner called Grim, and it is clear that he should stick to directing...
Though the star of this movie is the flesh eating virus,. which is pretty horrendous at times, as you get to see people literally disintegrating, which, like a 7 year old boy, i thought was fantastic!
The movie is mostly brought down by plain silly scenes, such as a biting fly kicking blonde kid, and a ludicrous over reaction by the blonde kids father. Also, the incompetence of the cop in the movie was over the top, as no matter how they do things in America, i'm pretty sure they ain't THAT bad!
Though, i award this 3 stars, as i felt that Eli Roth did create a pretty horrendous set up for a horror, and i do enjoy watching this, as silly as it is, even for amusement!
This could be classed as a comedy horror, and should probably be judged as one. It isn't that well done, and maybe a bit rushed, but for a fairly slap dash director this is a pretty fun gore movie. Men will probably prefer its cliched dose of attractive woman and blood though....
Cabin fever was released in 1993 and directed bu Eli Roth, who also directed the hostel films. Roth got the idea of the film when he went to a trip to iceland where he had half his face taken off.
The film is based around five college graduates, jeff, Karen, Paul, Marcy and Bert who have rented out a cabin in the woods to celebrate. Once in the woods and in the cabin, they find that a deadly flesh eating virus that eventually makes them turn against each incase any of them have the infection. The virus slowly picks them off one by one, will any of them survive?
My Oppinion: Personally i think it wasn't that great, theres nothing special about it at all.
After watching this, and then a few years later watching hostel you can tell that Eli Roth has up'd the mark just a bit as this film isn't exactly great, though it does keep you watching to see what happens when you watch it for the first time.
The visual effects are pretty good, when it comes to the skin and muscles and such, it does make you wanna look away and such.
I think pretty much every character in the film is annoying, i think they should have chose characters with more mature ages, as i just wanna call them idiots from start to finish, the way they act and how they are with each other im not a fan.
All in all im not fan i wouldnt waste my time watching it again or getting it on dvd, however i do think its a good idea to have as a good horror, just if he picked the characters better i think it would have been a bit more of a success
Five teenagers, having just graduated, rent a cabin in the woods and look forward to enjoying a peaceful holiday. That quickly begins to look unlikely when one of them bumps into a stranger in the woods and shoots at him. He returns to the cabin later on and begs for help, obviously having picked up a horrible skin disease. When they refuse to help him, he tries to steal their transport, and eventually dies at their hands. Then one of the girls shows signs of having caught the disease and quickly goes downhill. When the others ask the locals for help, they get a little more than they bargained for. Will any of them leave the woods alive?
I haven't heard of any of the five actors that play the college students and I suspect this is for a very good reason - none of them are very good. It doesn't help that none of the characters are very likeable. Paul (Rider Strong - please tell me that isn't his real name!!) is probably the one that inspires the most sympathy. He is fond of Karen (Jordan Ladd), but is reluctant to tell her how he feels for fear of being rejected. Unfortunately, just as we're getting to like him, he shows how weak he is (although I have to admit there are mitigating circumstances) and turns into a bland, characterless smuck who really is too boring for words.
Marcy (Cerina Vincent) starts out as a silly cow who thinks of nothing but sex and getting her own way, but does show some spirit towards the end of the film. As such, she is probably the only one to deserve praise for her performance. Jordan Ladd gives a passable performance as Karen. James DeBello as Bert and Joey Kern as Jeff both give very lack-lustre performances that really aren't worth commenting on. Director Eli Roth has a small part in the film, but doesn't particularly stand out in any way.
The plot isn't a terrible one; I have definitely seen much much worse - but then I have a penchant for dodgy horrors, so that probably isn't saying much. It is somewhat original in that at least it isn't a typical slasher film - at least the culprit is a disease rather than a knife-wielding maniac - I should note that I haven't seen 28 Days Later yet. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it all that exciting, because we know right from the start that they are unlikely to be able to escape it. To combat that problem, the screenwriter decided to throw in some very bizarre locals who do the chasing instead. This has the effect of turning the film into a bit of a pantomime though, which is a shame, because the film does show promise that it unfortunately doesn't deliver.
On a more positive note, at least the film isn't boring. There is always something going on and the director, Eli Roth, can be commended for the pacing of the film. It is just a pity that he didn't see fit to do something about the dodgy plot. This is a horror film with a rating of 15; as such, there are some pretty gory scenes, which are, to my untrained eyes, very convincing. I particularly liked one scene when one of the girls is in the bath shaving her legs. As the foam is shaved off, her leg starts to go really manky (apologies for the bad English...) and it really sent a shiver down my spine although it is far from being the most gory part of the film. One of the friends ends up a mass of rotting flesh, exposed jaw and all, which is not pretty to look at. Although there are certainly bloodier films out there, this is definitely one that should be kept away from children.
I think, although I could be wrong, that the director wasn't aiming to make a completely realistic film, but rather wanted to echo horror films from the sixties and seventies that are so bad that they are funny and really quite enjoyable for it. There is definitely an attempt to inject some humour into the film, particularly as far as the locals are concerned. I don't think that it worked though, in a way because it isn't bad enough to be good. Instead it rather sits in the middle of the road and becomes largely unmemorable.
I didn't have particularly high expectations of this film and because of that, I wasn't disappointed and I don't regret having watched the film. I just wasn't very impressed either. It does have its moments, but they just aren't frequent enough. If you enjoy horror, then it is probably worth watching at some point, but I would recommend waiting until it is shown on television rather than spending good money on it. I haven't yet seen Hostel, which is also directed by Eli Roth, but after this offering, I'm not all that inclined to bother. Three stars out of five.
The DVD is available from play.com for £3.28.
Running time: 93 minutes
A horror film titled Cabin Fever, it actually sounds quite promising, perhaps a group of American teens forced to lock themselves up in a wooden shack to get away from the crazy killer that awaits them in the woods? Well, that would have been a lovely way for the film to go (in a purely horror genre sense) but instead I wish I hadn't sat down to watch Cabin Fever, because had I known there was no physical killer it probably would have put me off instantly. Cabin Fever premiered on Channel 4 last night and I feel sorry for anyone else, that like me, actually sat through the thing.
2002's Cabin Fever opening credits are very plain, and the music only slowly creeps in. I have to say in a way this was quite good at setting a frightening mood, the no sound factor was quite eerie but I guess for many people that could just get mistaken for there being a problem with their television - or if you're in a group of people the opening credits will just get shouted over and you won't even get a slight taster of the effect the director was trying to give off. We then see a bloke in the woods return to see his dog, which is obviously dead, but he doesn't seem to be able to catch on that quickly. Instead, he just tries to move him which leads to us seeing that his dog is split in half. Lovely, I think seeing dead animals in films annoys me perhaps even more than dead people, because there's just something so helpless about animals that makes me wonder why they choose to kill them off in films. Probably one of the only gruesome things about 'The Ring' was the horse jumping off the boat and getting dragged under.
We then see the group of American teenagers, that I was expecting, driving along a quiet country road in a part of America that quite frankly no one should ever visit. Don't they watch these horror films and realise that there's no point going somewhere that is just scenery for them to die on? I just hope that they think paying for a cheaper holiday in the middle of nowhere is worth dying for. And do places like this in America really exist? Where it seems like brothers and sisters sleep together? The characters are very stereotypical. Bert (James DeBello) is the first guy we're really introduced to, as one of his other four friends in the car ask him for a smoke, to which he replies he's out of them. A split second later we find out he's hiding his packet of cigarettes next to his Gameboy Advance in his crotch, and hopes that Paul (Rider Strong) will stay quiet about it. Paul is the main character of the movie, and is in love with the same girl he always has been but is too afraid to tell her, his childhood sweetheart Karen (Jordan Ladd).
Karen is blonde and beautiful, and you do expect for the relationship that he apparently been brewing for years to finally become something on this cabin trip. Unfortunately, things really aren't going to go well for the pair -- infact it's probably the worst relationship in horror movie history, as you never even get a chance to begin to care about 'will they or won't they'. The other new members of the gang are Jeff (Joey Kern), who when I first saw him in the film thought he was some creepy guy that lived in the woods! I couldn't have been paying much attention, as he is 100% one of the group. I guess the fact that at the time the film was made he was a 26 year old with a receeding hairline trying to play a 16 year old kind of ruined his character. It's hard to believe that he's actually 31 now! Great casting! Jeff's girlfriend is Marcy (Cerina Vincent) and she's the independant female character of the film. Normally I would tell you about other films the main stars of the film have appeared in, but there's literally nothing really to mention for them.
You know straight away that there is something very strange about the place that they are going to, and that's just given away by the fact that their local shop has a little boy sitting on a bench outside who is a young version of Hannibal Lector. The shop owners are just as weird, with the old man keeping a rifle behind the counter that he says is for the 'ni**ers'. This actually comes full circle by the end of the film, and I think it's something that is supposed to be hilarious, but it just makes the film look really, really stupid. But now on to the main plot of the film itself, as if there's not a physical killer then what is there? Well, it's a flesh eating virus that I'm not sure exactly how it turned up in the first place. I'm guessing it's something to do with the bugs in the wood, but that makes me wonder if all the weirdos that live around the woods know the virus exists and are all just trying to cover it up the whole time or if they're actually none the wiser to what is going on. There is no true answer really, as the film doesn't give you anything more than a one-off adventure that teases a sequel and after a little research I've discovered that for some strange reason someone has agreed to product a Cabin Fever 2 due for release next year.
The group are very frightened of the disease after an old man comes to their door with his skin red raw, but they never do the obvious thing of just leaving and that's what frustrated my mum into deciding she couldn't watch anything more than 30 minutes of this hour and a half movie. The old man had actually been shot by Bert earlier in the movie after he was shooting squirrels, so whether or not this disease turns you into some sort of zombie that means it doesn't hurt when you get shot I don't know. It's another plot hole really that never gets answered, not that I care all that much. The certificate for the movie is a 15, but I can't say I was scared once, and there wasn't even any real attempts to make you jump. The only real sickening part of the movie is when you see how badly the disease is getting some people, as it is tearing off their skin. The old man with the virus tries to steal the groups car but instead spews blood all over it and then when the group set the guy on fire - they don't seem overly bothered that they've just killed a guy - he runs into the stream and that means all the water for the woods is infected. Hmmm, I wonder what is going to happen next. So a frustrating plot, some stupid characters and the typical weirdo police department for the creepy environment, it just sounds like another American horror film, but it's not - it's actually much, MUCH worse. Don't watch this even if someones threatening you with the virus if you don't, it's just so awful and I couldn't get about the characters turning on one another in their half arsed way. Marcy said it best when she described the situation as a plane crash waiting to happen, I imagine she was really talking about the film.
Five teenagers break up from high school and take off to the woods for a vacation. Stopping only to stock up on food and drink, they make their way straight to an isolated log cabin where they revel in the solitude and new found freedom. Whilst the two couples spend some time getting a bit closer, the fifth member of the group, Bert, takes off into the woods with a shotgun and a serious intent to shoot some squirrels. His aim is pretty awful, but whilst he fails to bag himself any rodents he is horrified when a stray shot hits a man. As the man rises from the floor, it is obvious that there is clearly something wrong with him. His face is covered in blood, he can hardly walk and although he asks Bert for help, the teenager tells him to back off, lets off a few more rounds and scarpers into the woods.
That evening, after some drinks around the campfire, the teenagers are settling into the cabin when there is a knock at the door, where a horrific sight greets them. The man that Bert shot has appeared once more, but this time he is in an even worse state. When he runs out to the truck and tries to steal it, the group grabs every implement to hand to try and fend off the crazed man. Eventually, a freak accident results in the wretched man becoming engulfed in a fireball and he runs off into the woods screaming and burning. Understandably terrified by the whole experience, the teenagers settle down for a very unsettled nights sleep, unable to discard the image of the burning man from their minds.
But it isnt just the mans memory that lingers. In an attempt to quench the fire of his burning clothes, the man pitches into the local reservoir, where he ends up face down. As his body floats in the water, his legacy disperses and makes its silent, but deadly way into the pipe that feeds the local water supply. For the occupants of the cabin, the nightmare is only just beginning
Cabin Fever has appealed to me for ages, purely because I like the poster. Its fantastic. Have you seen it? Its very eerie, unlike the actual film that it advertises. I was REALLY disappointed with Cabin Fever because it had been hyped up to be something that it simply wasnt. Thatll teach me.
Cabin Fever takes all the traditional elements of a slasher movie (group of sexed-up irresponsible teenagers, solitude, weird locals, simple act of stupidity) and puts them into a rather different context. Whilst you might be led to believe that the teenagers will end up being stalked and attacked by the poor bloke from the woods, the reality is rather different because its the flesh-eating disease inhabiting his body that actually starts to pick them off. One of the initial reasons that I was ultimately disappointed with the film was that I had been led to believe that the story would play like a traditional slasher with an eventual twist into the disease scenario. This never happened. Its quite clear from the beginning that the story is about contamination.
Its not a particularly good horror film either. One of the reasons for this is that it feels cheap. The make-up effects are surprisingly limited and reek of limited finances. There are few action scenes and its all just a bit silly really. Theres no suspense and the story descends into a confusing concoction of different elements that start to feel as though it were produced by Mr Film Make It Up As You Go Along Director. The blackly comical feel to the film means that there are few shocks and the film never really gets the chance to be frightening. Despite the isolated location and the sinister feeling of the woods, the teenagers never seem to feel at risk. There is never a feeling of tension or desperation and the story just bounces from one odd sequence to another.
In keeping with the latest trend to show affection towards the classic horror films of the 1970s, there are elements of this story that will be familiar. The demise of the poor guy in the woods represents the victim of hundreds of similar films (that will normally turn into the killer.) Ironically, this is still strictly true in Cabin Fever he just infects all the kids rather than stabbing, slashing or burning them. There are a selection of odd ball locals, which, in keeping with film history, are introduced in the local store and provide all the sorts of clues that would have anyone else packing their bags and legging it back to civilisation as quick as possible. There is a brain dead police sheriff who totters off into the woods on his bike. You also have the classic selection of willing teenage victims. Two are horny and at it like rabbits. One is horny and desperate to be at it like a rabbit, whilst the other is wistful and saving herself. You then, of course, have the geek who wants only to shoot things, smoke dope and get the dog to lick his balls. To cap it all off, you even have the raft out on the lake, which is just crying out to be the scene of a suitably grim execution.
But you never get these things and thats why Cabin Fever is so disappointing. Apart from the unused tributes, it also suffers from terrible moments of cliché and downright stupidity. Mobile phones have no signal, cars wont start, rabid dogs keep appearing and so it goes on and on. Were we enjoying the ritual slaughter of nubile teenagers it wouldnt be so bad but were not. Even the teenagers arent that good. Jordan Ladd and Cerina Vincent do plenty of screaming but ultimately go to pieces (!) Rider Strong is far too nasal and weedy and Joey Kern is just plain irritating. Giuseppe Andrews is convincing as deputy Winston but basically still just a nuisance.
So if I were to give Eli Roth (writer and director) some feedback and advice, how would I have done things differently?
For starters, the contamination of the man in the woods at the start gives too much away. Id have lost that scene and just introduced him as a weird (and not obviously ill) hermit. Id have introduced some tension by intimating that the teenagers were being watched in their cabin. Id have played on this idea for a while, with partial glimpses and jumpy suggestions that there was something out there. And then Id have got the hermit inside the cabin where, unrevealed to the audience, he would have somehow contaminated one of the characters. The contaminated character would then have subsequently died, quickly and painfully in a fashion that wouldnt have been instantly obvious. This would have meant that the teenagers would be terrified as to what had happened and suspect that there was someone out to get them. In my version, the killer would have been a dark and malevolent force that somehow moved amongst the group, unsuspected until it was too late, occupying every dark corner of the cabin and picking them off one at a time.
But that wasnt the version we got. So I remain fundamentally very disappointed. Cabin Fever simply isnt sinister, nasty or gory enough and while some of the comical flourishes are quite witty, the film failed to gross me out or scare the wits out of me. A good horror film will always do one or both.
Director: Eli Roth
Running time: 93mins
Giuseppe Andrews............Deputy Winston
As a wind-down after finishing college, 5 friends stay in a cabin in the woods, but things do not go as planned when one of them gets infected with a contagious flesh-eating virus. The question is, who else in the group has it? The fear of infection driving them to turn on each other, can they stick together long enough to get help before they all die?
Before going to see this film, I had heard and read nothing but good about it. The general consensus was that Cabin Fever was an interesting new concept, ideas never played with before; and I have to admit that at first, I wondered how a film that seemed to have such a simplistic storyline could be so good. However, after seeing the film, I realise how right 'they' were.
First-time director Eli Roth has taken all of the original 70's horror classics that we all love, rolled them around and repackaged them, adding in some of his own vision to make this spectacular movie, with all the potential to become a "cult" movie among horror fans, much in the same vain as classics like "The Evil Dead" and "Last House on The Left".
With the perfect mixture of gore, comedy and serious moments, there's never a dull moment whilst watching Cabin Fever. Look out for the scene where Marcy (played brilliantly by Cerina Vincent) is shaving her legs in the bath - it'll make the less-harderned among you squirm!
James DeBello as Bert provided much of the film's comedy content, whilst at the same time being my most liked character, mainly due to the fact that he's the only one who doesn't "wimp out" in one way or another - even when he knows he has the virus, he still tries to help his friends right to the end.
Part of what makes this film a bit different is the character portrayal - there are a lot of conflicts, the key conflict being how the friends react to the possibility of each other contracting the virus. Although they are friends, and to an extent feel loyalty toward one another, on the other hand they are confused about their feelings and question who to trust, they will also entertain the possibility of betraying their friends in order to survive.
The other major conflict with Cabin Fever comes from us, the audience. Do we like or dislike this group of people? Personally (and I think I speak for many people who have seen this film), I went through phases of feeling sympathy for these people and thinking they get everything they deserve. We see a group of friends torn apart by a virus, driven to betrayal out of fear for their lives and particularly sympathise with "nice guy" Paul when his long-time pal and potential love Karen is the first to fall victim. However, there is the lack of humanity with which they react to the the local man who comes for their help when he becomes a victim of the virus. After warning him off with gunshots, they end up setting him on fire and leaving him for dead - this does not endear us toward the friends! Something must have been done right in the making of Cabin Fever though, because we always feel the appropriate emotions at the right times..we always care about the characters when we need to.
Personally, I would like to say that Cabin Fever is meant as an examination of loyalties and moral ambiguity, but Eli Roth himself has been reported as saying it is meant as a classic ""tits and blood"fest. Either way, Cabin Fever is genius; interpret it how you will, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable film whatever you make of it.
Rated 15 some sexual scenes.
Runtime 92 min
Lead Actor Jordan Ladd
Co starring Rider Strong, James Debello, Cerina Vincent
Directed by Eli Roth
Released Mar15 2004
Eli Roth makes a debut with Cabin Fever. Taking an otherwise traditional horror set up and add some energy and originality to make it completely fresh.
Five friends, just finished there finals and decide to head for a cabin in forest and have a serious party and embrace there now found freedom. Theres a cute but uptight Paul (Rider Strong) thats is after Karen (Jordan Ladd) for a lifetime platonic relationship. Then theres stupid couple Jeff (Joey Kern) and Marcy (Cerina Vincent) and the brute Bert (James Debello). Will shooting squirrels in the wood Bert accidently touches a man who seems to have some sort of diease. Bert returns to the cabin and does not tell anyone. But later on in the evening there a knock at the door. And guess who is there?. Then the beast is unleashed on the five. The evil is invisible but highly contagious. When Karen begins to show sides the friendship is really put to the test.
The film was ok but I must admit for a horror film not brill. There are a few gruesome scenes in this film. I have seen better horrors, but it was ok to watch when there was nothing on tv. The film was a little basic and lacked some excitement. Dont expect to much from this or you will be very disappointed. They could have done so much more. Its not a film I would watch again. I must admit I do like my movies as you have probably realised by the amount of reviews on films.
Hope this helps.
A sneaky and surprisingly smart horror flick, Cabin Fever sets up all the clichés of its particular subgenre (what might be called the "sexy young people go into the woods" horror movie, featuring hostile redneck locals, dead animals on hooks, cars that suddenly stop running, and so on) and by the end has played a clever twist on every standard element, often to darkly comic effect. What's the plot? Well, five sexy young people (Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Joey Kern, Cerina Vincent, and James DeBello) go to an isolated cabin where they contract a nasty bacteria that eats their flesh; this, combined with a bad-tempered dog and a party-loving police deputy (Giuseppe Andrews, giving a particularly funny performance), leads everyone into confusion and bloody chaos. Some of the ironic twists are a little obvious, but most of them effectively subvert your expectations to entertaining effect. --Bret Fetzer