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Cabin Fever
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Cabin Fever (2002)

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Plot Summary:
"An offbeat horror tale about a group of five college friends on vacation at a remote mountain cabin when one contracts a flesh-eating virus. As it spreads among the friends, their true feelings and personalities emerge as they struggle to survive the virus and each other."

Reviewer: Tariq Rafiq @horrorasylum
Location:South Bucks, UK
Review Date: 13 August 2004 My Rating: out of 5


There have been a spate of low quality horror films released lately ('House Of 1000 Corpses' being the worst of the lot). We are finally in for a treat. This along with the remake of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' will end the drought.

In order to enjoy this properly you will need to ignore all the trailers, posters and general advertising that goes along with this film so as not to be too jaded. The advertising makes you think this is a standard teen slasher movie with lots of 'Dawson's Creek' types running around looking scared but pretty. This is not that sort of film. There are some stunning actresses in here but the success of this lies in the great story-telling and constant jarring of the audience's preconceptions. This film is anything but predictable.

The story follows a group of teenagers who hire a cabin in the woods (can you see the danger yet?). They have a day of fun in the sun, playful sexual adventures, drinking, skinny dipping, we've all been there. However, this all changes when a man with a flesh eating disease stumbles into their peaceful lives. The fear of catching something from him initially then one another leads this previously normal, friendly group to turn on each other and commit acts of insane cruelty and abuse, all the while justifying it as being best for the group.

A refreshing mixture of humour and genuine terror combine here to make a horror film that is worthy of an audience. The holy trinity of the 'Evil Dead' films is a clear inspiration to the style and content of 'Cabin Fever'. Directed by one timer assistant to David Lynch, Eli Roth has managed to learn the art of directing a compelling film without all the pretentious flashes of absurdity that typify most of Lynch's recent works.

This is a quality film that uses horror and humour to expose the brutality that lies within us all, which is hidden by only the thinnest veneer of civility.

Reviewer: Steven Davies @braindeadsteve
Location:Luton, UK
Review Date: 01 March 2004 My Rating: out of 5

I was just as excited as any other horror fan out there about the release of Eli Roth's Cabin Fever. It had been doing the rounds on the internet for God knows how long. Everyone was hyping it up. There were interviews, cool new pictures released and the king himself Sir Peter Jackson also praised it so highly that he stopped shooting on 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' just so he could screen it to the cast and crew. But I think as always with high praise and great anticipation almost always comes disappointment and the realisation that it was probably better in your head before you had even got a chance to see it.

But in its defense its probably my fault for getting all excited about Cabin Fever in the first place. And maybe because my expectations were a little higher than normal I think I didn't embrace it as much as I could of. A flesh-eating virus and a bunch of teenagers out in a lonely cabin is the setup.

Cabin Fever uses a very often missed 70's horror style thats makes its mark throughout. It introduces token teenage charicatures (which were played equally well by all involved), bizarre and practically deranged characters, buckets of blood and strange and unsettling sequences. In fact the strange and unsettling sequences (although being the most memorable) do seem to be the most uncomprehensible. A number of sequences left me bemused as to why they were even left in.

The final 15 minutes of the film were probably the strangest. There seemed like a number of unanswered questions, one being why did Deputy Winston dump Paul's (Rider Strong) body when all the others were burnt? And why the hell did Jeff return to the cabin? But this is horror, so I can live with it. But there are two major quarrels that I have with Cabin Fever. The first has to be the unbelievable change of character that Rider Strong seems to experience. He literally becomes a cold hearted killer in just a few scene changes. And the second issue is with the ending.

There are deaths galore, a windscreen trapped deer (at least I think thats what it was), slo-mo kung-fu, and a 6 foot rabbit. It just seems that so many ideas have just been tacked onto the end at the last minute. The end took away a lot of what the film had built up to that point. It tried to tie up all the loose ends in one big rush job of cheap gags. The ending to me spoilt a lot of the originality that was on show here.

Absolutely offbeat and played 100% tongue-in-cheek Cabin Fever attempts reviving and reinventing past influence. Its nice to see someone is still willing to believe in the popularity of the classic horror tale and not rely on shoddy effects, and lame scares to attack its audience. Cabin Fever is fresh and is probably the more decent, twisted, bloody and vulgar movie experience you would of been on in quite a while. And while horror fanatics will love the in-jokes and references splattered throughout a word of warning - go in expecting a movie as fantastic as the Evil Dead or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and you may walk out on a low.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 15 October 2003 My Rating: out of 5

The 70's style slaughter continues with the most highly anticipated horror film of the year (although Texas Chainsaw Massacre is looking more appealing every day) and it's bloody brilliant!!

Five friends hire a cabin in the woods for a week to celebrate college graduation, with their hopes, dreams and lives ahead of them you just know it's going to end badly.

A hermit who has contracted necrotising fasciitis (a rare flesh eating bug) from a dead dog, gives the kids their first bit of trouble and things soon spiral out of control from there, as the kids contract the bug and then have to deal with the understandably frightened locals who see them as a threat.

This was without a doubt the most enjoyable horror film I have seen in ages. The cast who are all rising stars, excellently portrayed the group of friends to the point where we could tell they were having a blast making it. Their on screen chemistry is not faked. The rest of the cast too were excellent as assorted loony local folks.

The gore effects were both excellently and expertly handled by the marvellous KNB FX boys and surprisingly they never shied away, which in this day and age was rare (Eli Roth is right, this is what the fans want and need!!). The gore was also backed up by some solid camera work (loved the red shots) and sound design too.

Director Eli Roth managed to keep the horror and the humour expertly balanced with many well executed jumpy bits (I jumped twice along with my friends and the rest of the audience) and I also laughed my ass off at the locals, and James DeBello's Bert.

The film has tons of references to 'Evil Dead', 'Night of the Living Dead', 'The Thing', 'The Blair Witch Project' and 'Last House on the Left' (namely the use of the David Hess soundtrack, which is also covered at the end).

In all, the only downside is the end. I felt that it would have been scarier had it ended in the hospital, however, we are then treated to at least another ten minutes of silly little skits to tie up loose ends, and whilst they were funny, they ultimately didn't sit well in relation to the tone of the film. The ending does leave you a little worried, but it would have had a greater impact had we not been in hysterics at the time.

Cabin Fever is a revelation, a gory, jumpy, funny shocker with it's tongue planted firmly in it's cheek!! Whilst the rest of the 70's inspired films have actually been quite scary, Cabin Fever scores points for it's original angle and it's balls!! Definitely recommended!!

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