Cabin Fever Eli Roth 2002

"Cabin Fever? How 'bout 'Crapin Fever'?"
Let me start off by saying that I was really looking forward to seeing this film. Considering the ginormous buzz that it received after its being snapped up by Lion's Gate, I had high hopes for what was being touted as "the new 'Evil Dead'" and "the return to hardcore horror". What did I get after plunking down my $10 at the local cineplex? Fratboys in the woods with Karo Syrup.

The seemingly endless parade of disappointing horror films continues, with this mess of a film stacking up somewhere between "House of 1000 (er, make it 7) Corpses" and "Freddy vs. Jason vs. Monica Keena's Cleavage". Swinging wildly between parody and gross-out movie, the film starts promisingly with a nifty tacked-on credits sequence that sets up a foreboding mood entirely absent from the rest of the film. The movie is populated with dozens of stupid throwaway characters (which all but scream "I went to high school with the director and I'm really fun at parties!") and the last 5 minutes lapses bizarrely into a "Naked Gun" movie. There are a few icky gross-out moments, but nothing even remotely scary -- imagine a horror film of someone sneezing on a crowded bus for 90 minutes and you've pretty much got it. The problem may be that there is no villian, per se -- you basically know that there's a nasty disease, people are going to get it, and when they do, they're going to start shedding skin and vomiting blood all over. This predictability and slow, creeping onset of illness is not altogether cinematic or exciting, as perhaps a guy with a knife or maniac shark might be. There are glimmers of hope in the arrival of a pissed-off dog, but the scenes are so disjointed and badly shot that one wonders if they ran out of money or if the dog died or walked off set before they could complete the scenes. Cliches abound -- hillbillies, fake scares, stupid cops, even a terrible "Pulp Fiction"/"Kiss Me Deadly" "what's in the box?!" ripoff that could not be more out of place. Hats off to Jordan Ladd for pulling off the one truly funny line of the film, and to the nekkid chick for finding such a competent plastic surgeon.

Rating (out of 5):