Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever is a horror movie about a bunch of American kids dealing with a flesh eating virus while staying in a cabin in the wilderness. The film was written and directed by Eli Roth and received quite a few favourable reviews so I was bitterly disappointed when it turned out to be really, really gut-wrenchingly awful.

Awful turd of a movie

The opening credits are reminiscent of earlier horror films and the setting could have featured in Evil Dead, Friday the 13th or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We are introduced to the usual bunch of brain dead teens, the beautiful slut, the dumb aggressive jock, the straight man, it all conforms to formula, but this lot are a bit nastier than most.

The dialogue is terrible from the start and so is the acting, every one of the main characters is completely unlikeable and they all behave in an exaggerated manner. The storyline is very bad, full of nonsensical actions from the main characters and lacking a genuinely scary threat. Despite ripping off elements of earlier and superior horror films Cabin Fever manages to avoid stealing a killer character and this lack of a focused threat seems to be a problem throughout the film, you just keep asking yourself "why don´t they just leave?" The range of excuses invented is insultingly moronic, at one point they are holed up hiding from an Alsatian dog.

The direction is barely standard and completely unmemorable apart from the odd strange scene such as the colour filtered camera from the dog´s perspective, that gave me a laugh. Eli Roth doesn´t seem to be very talented, I did a search for him on the net and he looks like a moron with an unremarkable history, nothing to suggest he is capable of writing or directing a good horror film and there is nothing in Cabin Fever to suggest it either.

The story trundles along at quite a fast pace, it doesn´t take long for the dumb jock to go shooting squirrels and accidentally hit a guy who turns out to have the virus. The meathead is actually about to help him, as any decent human would, when he realises that the guy is sick, somehow he is able to ascertain that the virus is both deadly and infectious and in this ludicrous scene he goes from offering to help to threatening to kill the guy if he steps any closer. Just a short while later this band of warped teens basically murder the guy, I don´t believe you would kill a sick guy asking for help like that, at this point they have no idea what is wrong with him or if it is infectious, mind you I also don´t believe that if you were sick looking for help you would continually try to aim your bloody vomit at your potential saviours.

As the film progresses we are introduced to some ridiculous peripheral characters. A party boy deputy, a spooky stoner, some hillbillies and worst of all a mullet headed, dungaree wearing freak child with a strange fetish for biting people´s hands. The plot twists get more and more wacky, soon they all have the virus, the straight man who supposedly loves one of the girls ends up locking her in a shed outside when she gets sick (they still don´t leave) he then shags her mate before finishing off by caving her head in with a spade - this is truly shit. It sounds like evil dead style comedy but sadly it is done in a serious way and it just doesn´t work as a coherent story.

When I began to suspect the film was winding down I felt a real sense of relief, all of the main characters were dead surely that had to be it, sadly not, ignoring convention in a bad way the film continues on with a bunch of unexplained nonsense before finally ending with the worst gag I have ever seen in a film ever and I´ve watched the Police Academy films, Airplane and the entire works of Steve Martin. The film wants to be an intelligent and funny horror movie but it fails on all counts, there are no real scares, there are no real laughs, there is nothing to recommend this film. I´m shocked, maybe even outraged, at the good reviews this has received and can only assume these people are talking about a different film than the foul steaming turd of a b-movie I endured.


Reviewed by Simon Hill

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