Cabin Fever

People either really love “Cabin Fever,” or hate the movie; there is no middle. Those who don’t like the flick I believe completely miss the point of the movie and can’t appreciate what a gem writer, director Eli Roth has unearthed; the film is brilliant. “Cabin Fever” is a seamless pastiche of the 1970s, early 1980s campy horror movie; Roth resurrects the old horror movie feel and adds his quick wit and dark sense of humour. These combinations of techniques create an infectiously impressive film. It is definitely not a straight to video flick.

The late 1970s into the mid 80s produced an over saturation of horror movies, three were coming out of every week and everyone loved them. By the end of the 1980s, we see movies like “Night of the Living Dead” (1990 ) and the movie is completely comical and is not really a classic horror movie at all. The 1990s saw a huge decline in the horror movie. Eli Roth defied movie critics and refused to accept that horror movies were a thing of the past. In 1995 Eli Roth co-wrote the first draft for “Cabin Fever,” but it was not accepted into the film world because somehow horror movies became un-hip. When “Scream” came out in 1996 a new generation were re-introduced to horror movies. After “The Blair Witch Project” was released in 1999 and gave birth to a new style of horror movie the horror genre became more accepted once more. Finally seven years after Eli wrote “Cabin Fever” movie producers picked up the script and purchased it, as the atmosphere for this new breed of horror movie was appropriate to cash in on.

Eli Roth is just a big horror movie geek. “Cabin Fever” pays tribute to the horror movie’s Roth was raised on and built his repertoire of movie knowledge. Many critics accuse Roth of stealing techniques and shots from other movies and directors. But I don’t see anything wrong with someone paying tribute to films which have inspired you. To say no one or nothing that is created already does not or should not influence us is ridiculous. We can’t help but to assimilate other elements into our own ideas.

In “Cabin Fever” there are elements of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Evil Dead,” “Friday the 13th,” very Camp Crystal Lake like feeling and John Carpenters “The Thing.” There are also classic re-creations of scenes from other movies like the original “Dawn of the Dead,” with the memorable screw driver incident and the end sequence of “Night of the Living Dead.” (1968 )

“Cabin Fever” is “Evil Dead” meets “Outbreak” with a soundtrack that is creepy like “Last House on the Left.” It has the spirit of the “Evil Dead” where friends go off to the woods and stay in a cabin, but instead of having a tangible physical villain that is a creature, the bad guy is a virus and they all become a monster within.

In “Cabin Fever,” we find five close friends who have just recently graduated from college and are having one last celebration by renting a little cabin off in the woods. Things take a turn for the worse when they find themselves infected with an unknown disease and as their paranoia sets in the group begin to turn on each other.

The characters are amazing and so well delivered. Each character has such individual appeal. Rider Strong, who you love crazed TGIF fans may recognize as the edgy bad boy best friend Sean on “Boy Meets World.” Rider plays the leading man Paul, a very effective shy boy, a departure from his typical roles of being the confident bad boy. The two leading ladies, Marcy (Cerina Vincent) the sex pot brunette and the shy blonde Karen (Jordan Ladd) are amazing. They are beyond gorgeous. What is better than having two stunning women, sex scenes and breasts? Well – the hot girls becoming horribly disfigured and their bodies mutilated with rot. Beautiful.

James DeBello plays Bert the moronic, jock who still into his 20s likes do tricks with his weenie and talk about dick and fart jokes. As much as he’s an idiot, we love Bert; he’s hilarious and a vivacious character. The supporting characters are just as memorable as the leads. The group is immersed in a southern United States tight knit community, with styles that still feel like the 1970s. The town yokels including Depute Winston (Giuseppe Andrew) as the partier law enforcer, Old man Cadwell (Robert Harris) and Henry the hermit (Arie Verveen,) they all deliver hilarious roles that make you uncomfortable and you don’t know whether to laugh or be disturbed.

The chemistry between the five friends is amazing. I think the key to the film is the believability of the relationships between the characters. They genuinely care for one another and as the disease begins to spread, their fear grows and they question how close they really are. It becomes every man and woman for themselves.

The villain in the film is a disease and no one knows what the cause is. There is no masked man with a knife or gun, nothing is tangible. The fact that it is a flesh eating disease makes the gore all the more disturbing and realistic. Anyone who has seen what a flesh eating disease does to a body; it is as disturbing as any horror movie ever made and Eli does not skimp out on the gore factor. The effects are amazing, I mean they even make shaving looking creepy.

“Cabin Fever” is such a comfort movie for me. As many times as I can watch the movie, and be disturbed by the gore, I can laugh and just have fun. There are tiny little details in the film that you pick up after a few times of watching the movie, I love the fact that Eli took the time to hide little details like that so you can get more from it every time you watch it. “Cabin Fever,” is a fun movie that is memorable and you can watch over and over. If you get a chance to watch the parody of “Cabin Fever”, “Sex Fever” the adult film, it is actually worth it. It’s too funny.

I was disappointed they decided to do “Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever,” set to come out sometime in 2008. Eli is not taking any role in the film; he has stated there is no point to having a second film because there is nothing new to expect if you have seen the first film. It is a disappointment and is clear studios that are making this film just to make money. It is the worst idea since doing “Wild Things 2”

That being said, I have no doubt that horror movies have a future with directors like Eli Roth and the other members of the ‘Splat Pack’ including Rob Zombie, James Wan “SAW,” Neil Marshall “The Descent,” and Alexandre Aja “High Tension.”

My final thoughts: pancakes!

Cheers

Crestfallen

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~ by exploitnation on June 19, 2008.

13 Responses to “Cabin Fever”

  1. This movie blows too.

    KIDDING.

    I fucking love this movie. The first time I rented it I watched it twice in a row-I liked it THAT much. Then I bought the dvd and I still watch the shit out of it.

    -CB

    ps. that poster is cool I have never seen it…although Roth pretty much used the same poster for Hostel 2 (substitute meat for someones back).

  2. You really going to be cut from the team if you didn’t like CF. But hey — you’re still cool enough to hang with .. lol 😉

    The DVD is fucking awesome! I love the chic version and the family version it offers. The chic version being that someone with hands covers the screen so you can’t see!

    CF is way cooler than H and H2 — takes more imagination! I love quirky B-rates

  3. Pancakes!!!

  4. Yeah but I actually like the hostel movies too. I am one of the few people who think Eli Roth is cool. He wears his influences on his sleeve but there is nothing wrong with that. I would prefer someone who likes horror to make horror films vs someone just cashing a paycheck.

  5. Totally – I love Eli Roth, and I dug H and H2 a lot, I just think CF is even way more awesome! on the scale of wickness, Cabin Fever is just on my top percentage!

    It is liberating to see someone do it for the sheer love of movie making. Hence why i am so glad he did not want to take part in CF2..go Eli!

    I have a mad crush on him anyway. He’s on my list of 5 people I get to bone whose a celeb haha

  6. I mean H doesn’t have the karate pancake boy! c’mon!

  7. i think roth is a fucking douchebag.

    he’s a horror fan, yeah. and Hostel and Cabin Fever are good (fuck Hostel 2 –he made THAT for a paycheck, CB) but that guy wears his ego on his sleeve as well.

  8. I still want to rock his world..all right!

  9. I’d totally doing it praying mantis style and bite his head off after..ya I would!

  10. I wear my ego on my ski mask. So wha?

    -CB

  11. I wear my ego in my pants

  12. I think “Cabin Fever” is a great film! It was a revelation when I first saw it. In fact, when we decided to start our band, one of the first song we wrote was called “Cabin Fever”. It´s posted on our myspace (www.myspace.com/thedeadnextdoorband). Eli Roth may have a huge ego but I really like him. After all, he is like you said “a big horror geek”. A while back we got an e-mail from him, telling us how much he liked our tribute to “Cabin Fever”, so I´ll definitely say that he seems like a pretty ok guy.
    When it comes to the “Hostel”-movies, I actually like the second one more than the first. I also thought that Roth´s fake trailer for “grindhouse” was pretty hilarious…
    I´m looking forward to seeing what he´ll come up with in the future.

  13. Oh, and I agree about that poster: it IS awesoem and I´ve never seen it before, either. Good work in finding it.

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