Cabin Fever is apparently in the horror genre, though frights are at a bare minimum. Viewers may think that the tacky jumps thrown on them at the opening of the film are merely a warm up to the big scares later on… but no. They are, shockingly, the scariest parts of this movie.
A group of five college students travel to a lakeside cabin somewhere in the Southern States where they meet weird and intimidating hillbillies. At first, these threatening characters appear as the danger element in this ominous environment. But gradually the fivesome realise that the real danger is in fact the water that poses the threat, as a brutal virus poisons the lake.
Relationships between the five central characters are random and utterly unsentimental. Suggestions of friendships are contradicted and romances are illuminated through nonsensical sex scenes that are seemingly there solely to fill up time. Loyalty is certainly not a value important to the gang. Blossoming love stories are discarded rashly and friends are all but sacrificed as a ‘save yourself’ attitude is adopted.
Eli Roth directed the 2002 original and he writes this one. Many have wondered why on earth Roth would be bothered involving himself in this remake directed by Travis Z. The original was fine but not nearly good enough to make it again fourteen years later.
It looks as though this film relies heavily on gory images as skin is peeled off and blood is spattered everywhere and at one stage one of the female protagonist stares down in horror as she holds her own torn off nipple in her hand. The gore is pretty cheap and tacky, and considering the apparent reliance, it leaves the movie wanting for any positive feature. But there just isn’t one.
Cabin Fever does not work on a number of levels. Poor acting, poor writing and poor direction converge to make a pretty poor film. The characters are one dimensional and annoying to the extent that it’s almost enjoyable watching them get their skin torn off.