CABIN & 28 DAYS REVIEWED
Toranaga over at Ain't It Cool News posted a couple of reviews for the eagerly anticipated 'Cabin Fever' and Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later'. If you don't want any spoilers then I wouldn't bother reading on. But there aren't that many...go on, have a peek...
'One strange trend I have noticed in the last few years that bothers me is horror movie hype. It seems that every time a horror movie comes along that doesn't feature your run of the mill, Kevin Williamson type teeny-bopper slasher action, someone somewhere touts it as 'the return of real horror', or something to that effect. Sometimes the movie does live up to the hype, like May. Get your hands on that movie as soon as you can. But most of the time, you get something that's not bad, but not the greatest thing either, like Ginger Snaps or Dog Soldiers. And then you get the downright horrid, like Jeepers Creepers and House of 1000 Corpses. But every one of these had the early word of mouth buzz about them.
So coming up later this month, we have the latest horror hype, 28 Days Later. This movie, which came out earlier this year in Britain, is being promoted with some critics quote, 'Danny Boyle reinvents the zombie movie and it's scary...as...Hell.' And I'm happy to give a big Woo Hoo! because I enjoyed the hell out of this movie.
The movie starts out with some animal activists out to rescue some chimps from captivity in a lab. Despite a scientists urging to not free the chimps because they are highly infected with a disease he refers to only as 'Rage', they let one loose, monkey bites girl, and all hell breaks loose. Cut to 28 days later, and we find Jim waking up in a hospital bed, only to find London has been abandoned. Without spoiling anything, the rest of the film follows him around as he meets up with some people, runs from the infected, and tries to find safety.
So is it a scary as hell zombie movie? Well, I found it rather tense at times. And that's a very good thing, seeing as how it's hard to find a horror movie these days that is scary at all. So yeah, this movie has it's scary moments. I can think of only one instance where they had a fake scare, and I don't even think it qualifies as a bad one. Towards the beginning of the movie, as Jim is wondering around the dead quiet London, he goes to open a car door and the sudden blaring of the car alarm was a silly jump moment. But the rest of the movie is straight up scares. And it is done perfectly. Before most every infected attack, you get a quick first person POV shot of the infected running at the target. And it is quick. Very fast. Done in such a way that you all of a sudden know it's coming, but have no time prepare yourself. Excellent execution. And speaking of fast, that's the other great thing about this movie. The infected are fast. These aren't slow, dragging zombies who have had rigor mortis and can't move with the speed of a kid on three bowels of Count Chocula. They are more like the zombies from Return of the Living Dead. As a matter of fact, if you want to be technical about it, these aren't even zombies, in the since that they haven't died and come back to life. They are living people infected with a virus. And they die like living people. You shoot them wherever. They die. They don't come back. But to me that didn't make them any less scary. Their speed and out and out raging fury alone did it for me. And yes, there was plenty of gore. Lots and lots of blood. And oh how I love to see people vomiting up buckets of blood. Does that mean I have a problem? But definitely check this one out. But one last thing. This movie reminded me a lot of Night of the Comet. Seriously.
So from one semi-hyped horror movie to another one that's getting some big word of mouth. Cabin Fever. The early buzz on this is fucking glowing for a horror movie. Every early thing I see talks about how scary it is, how funny it is, and how ass kicking old school it is. And every one of them is right. This movie is the real deal. Five college friends plan to spend the weekend at a cabin in the backwoods. One gets exposed to a flesh eating virus, and once again, all hell breaks loose.
There is so much to love about this movie, I don't even know where to begin. First of all, if you love old school horror movies (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hills Have Eyes, The Thing) this movie is for you. Eli Roth has managed to drop all sorts of homage's to the classics by way of music, shots, themes and so on, without making it feel like a rip-off of anything. More like a tribute. And it's fun just to pick up on those things. Like everyone always mentions the Texas Chainsaw Massacre tracking shot, but what about the use of the song 'The Road Leads to Nowhere' from Last House on the Left. Not once, but twice. The original early in the film, and a cover during the credits. Who else out there right now would do that? Fuck, even Wes Craven probably wouldn't do that. And it's not like it's used just to say, 'Hey look, I watch horror movies.' Everything in there just fits naturally. So there are a lot of things in there for a horror geek to geek out over. Another great thing in this movie were all the side characters. All the major players were fucking great, and they have been getting all the attention they deserve in other reviews. But the side characters in this movie were classic. Dennis, Deputy Winston, the rednecks, the country store owner, just to name a few. If you haven't seen this yet, they mean nothing to you. But trust me, after you see it, they will be hard to forget.
Another interesting thing about this movie. Personally, I hate humor in horror movies. Look at Freddy Krueger. Classic scary character who quickly became a not scary at all bad stand up comic. I think humor ruins most horror films. It's mostly bad jokes, or 'look how ironic it is that I'm making jokes about horror movies while I'm in a horror movie' kind of thing. Well,Cabin Fever is funny. It is fucking laugh out loud funny at times. And it is done in all the right ways. They aren't bad jokes, and they don't demean the genre of horror film in any way. And that's not to say that this is not a scary movie. It is. It has that same sort of paranoia as the Thing had. Who is sick? Who's lying to save their own ass while getting everyone else sick? They don't trust each other, and will turn on each other at the sign of the smallest rash. This movie has lots of tension, but the humor is there to let off a bit of that tension at times. And like I said, it works. It works in that Evil Dead 2 way.
The look of this movie is great, especially knowing the limited budget they were working with. And the cinematography matches the film to a T. When the movie begins, the look is nice and clean. But as the film progresses, and the virus spreads, the film gets darker and grainer. So that by the end of the movie, like Ryder Strong, the look is a dark grainy mess. And this movie has plenty o' gore. It outgores 28 Days Later. And how it got by on an R rating, I'll never know. I can't think of a horror movie this bloody that has gotten by with an R rating before. That bloody. Did I already mention how I love the sight of people vomiting up buckets of blood? The bottom line is, I can say without a doubt, this is the most all around fun I have had watching a horror movie since Evil Dead 2. If you are in any way a fan of horror, go see this. Give this movie all the support it deserves. Eli Roth has done a fucking amazing job. And speaking of Eli, I can't wait for this DVD. The stories he told about some of the stuff in this movie are great. Should make for a killer commentary.
So go see these movies. If you like horror, you shouldn't be dissapointed. Are they the 'return of real horror'? I wouldn't say the return. I don't think real horror ever went away. You just have to know where to look for it sometimes. But they are two outstanding movies that the genre has seen in a long time.'
Courtesy of Ain't It Cool News