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Cabin Fever

A movie directed by Eli Roth

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Pancakes for everyone!

  • Jan 19, 2012
*** out of ****

If you don't like your laughs laced with less-than-subtle and excessive amounts of blood and gore; "Cabin Fever" may not be your cup of tea. In fact, while we're on that note, after seeing the film; you probably won't want tea at all. But that's exactly the intent of first-time director Eli Roth; to disgust us, humor us, and treat us to what was virtually the era of a new beginning for the modern horror genre. From this movie on, it felt like little homages to this beloved genre were showing up everywhere, from a variety of different filmmakers; some of whom have gone on and made bigger, better films. Has that happened to Roth? I wouldn't say so, given he made "Hostel" (not a bad movie) and its sequel (most definitely a bad movie); but hey, that's just one man's opinion.

As it stands, this is the only movie he's made that really agrees with me, as a movie-goer. "Hostel" was a mix of the disgustingly grotesque and the admirably suspenseful; "Hostel: Part II" was more of the same, and therefore both familiar and irredeemably exploitative. Roth has good ideas; he just needs to know how to execute them with more precision. With all due respect, "Cabin Fever" is a film that I enjoyed immensely; I realize that, according to film criticism, it is imperfect, but I say screw it. I was thoroughly entertained and that is that.

Roth takes the whole "college kids go to cabin in the woods for a few days; find death" premise and puts a unique little spin on it. Since these kids are funny, lovably stereotyped characters, here is a list of their names: Paul (Rider Strong), Bert (James DeBello), Karen (Jordan Ladd), Marcy (Cerina Vincent), and Jeff (Joey Kern). They've just gotten out of college, and indeed they have a cabin already rented; it rests somewhere deep in the woods. I don't know quite where - approximately or exactly - that is, but regardless, it's a cabin in the woods, and that's all you need.

The kids enjoy the virtues of sex, booze, and free-will while the fun lasts; which isn't for long, unfortunately. Little do they know; a horrible flesh-eating skin infection is spreading throughout the area - the origin being a local water reservoir, in which the body of the original infected human being fell. This immediately meant the spreading of the blood into the pipes; and soon, into the glasses of the kids and many others.

The first sign of danger is the appearance of a sickly hermit-type (Arie Verveen); who upchucks blood all-over Jeff's car. The fact that the drinking water is also infected doesn't help; and soon enough, we've got ourselves a good ol' fashioned, 80's-style bloodbath. If such things make you sensitive; walk away this instant, because Mr. Roth (who also wrote the script) has no sympathy for the faint of heart.

I liked the way that Roth pulls you into this world, enough to even get completely immersed in it. He fills his film to the top with quirky, eccentric beings, just a few of them being: some hillbillies who operate a convenience store not far from the cabin, the crazy/weird son of the store's owner (who, I should add, is quite skilled in the fields of biting and karate), a party-animal policeman named Winston (Giuseppe Andrews), and some random stoner-skateboarder named Justin (Roth). Characters aside, I felt that the setting of the film - the woods - was interesting and completely fitting for the style that Roth was attempting to create - or rather, recreate. Some think he had too much on his mind when he wrote the script; I think those people need to leave at least half of their big egos at home. This film is meant to be enjoyed, and if you don't find that possible, that's fine; I understand. I didn't like it either, when I first saw it. But now I see, there's a lot to admire about the flick; and while it's not great, I'll gladly revisit it one day.

Deer that go through windshields, hillbillies that barf blood, obvious STD metaphors, and the funniest twist ending of all time; "Cabin Fever" is just about impossible for me not to like. I won't spoil the laughs, or the cringes, or the best scenes in a whole; but I will tell you what I thought, and as of now I have. This is a good horror-comedy - and there are quite a few of them out there, lingering in the dark - and I think it succeeds on most levels. A lot of mainstream critics might not like it, and some horror fans might not either, but if you're anything like me, you'll be glad you came to this neck of the woods.

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January 22, 2012
Yeah, it took me two viewings to really like this one. That deputy was just so annoying...didn't this have a sequel? thanks.
More Cabin Fever reviews
review by . January 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: scenery     Cons: story was weak     The Bottom Line:   “Everybody's got the fever  That is somethin' you all know  Fever isn't such a new thing  Fever started long time ago”  ~John Davenport & Eddie Cooley     You know how it is when you start what is obviously going to be some dumb slasher flick and you can’t wait to really rip it up in a review? That is how …
review by . November 26, 2008
Cabin Fever
To start with, I don't know very many college students who would take off for break and head up to a desolate cabin far in the woods rather than Ft. Lauderdale for some more typical college fun. But let's thank them, for we know that a desolate cabin in the woods is an excellent backdrop for some bloody horrific action. A Zombie/Plague/Night of the Living Dead plot takes 5 college students out into the woods for a quiet break. Before heading up to the cabin, they make a last minute stop at a tiny …
review by . October 04, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
This movie is not for anyone who's looking for a strong plot, credible logic, sensible decisions or good acting. It is, however, for anyone who likes gore. Gore is served up in buckets -- almost literally, mind you -- as skins peels and bubbles and scabs, blood flows and spatters, panicked people do violent and panicky things to each other, and a dog snacks messily on one or two of the stars, up to and including eating a girl's lips.    I'd mention any standout performances if …
review by . March 26, 2004
I won't rehash the plot here, except to say it doesn't make much sense. We've got a traditional "... teenagers getting cut down one by one" theme (a la early FRIDAY THE 13th), coupled with a touch of DELIVERANCE style condescension towards the "locals." But another big problem is that the "disease" or "malady" that is making everyone sick, murderous, etc., is never really explained.The movie has some early moments of creepiness, and you think you might be in for something slightly original, perhaps …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Eli Roth makes an auspicious debut with CABIN FEVER. Taking an otherwise traditional set up for a horror film, Roth infuses it with enough energy and originality to make it feel completely fresh. Five friends, just finished with college finals, head for a cabin in the woods to party and embrace their newfound freedom. There's the cute but uptight Paul (Rider Strong), who yearns for pretty lifelong platonic friend Karen (Jordan Ladd); the attractive, but slightly stupid couple Jeff (Joey Kern) and Marcy (Cerina Vincent); and the brute jock, Bert (James DeBello). While shooting squirrels in the woods, Bert accidentally nicks a man, who appears to be suffering from a disgusting disease. Bert returns to the cabin, choosing not to share this information with the gang. But later that night, when the man knocks on their door, the beast is unleashed. Unlike most horror films which make the horror gruesomely visible, the evil in CABIN FEVER is invisible--and highly contagious. And when Karen begins to show signs ...

A sneaky and surprisingly smart horror flick,Cabin Feversets up all the cliches 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, etc.) 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 ...
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