Cabin Fever (2002)

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Cabin Fever: Directed by Eli Roth. With Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent. Five college graduates rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus, which attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals.

“Five friends finish their exams at college and decide to relax by taking a break in the woods. They arrive at their rented cabin and begin to party – a party that is broken by a sick man who stumbles into their midst. They try to fend him off but accidentally kill him. With their car wrecked and their mobile phones not working, they try to get help but their plans dramatically change when one of their number starts to show signs of having the same flesh eating virus that the stranger appeared to have.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI remembered this film getting reasonable reviews when it came out so I decided to give it a try on DVD to see for myself. The film opens with a group of teenagers going to a cabin where they encounter u0026#39;somethingu0026#39; and then slowly turn on one another as the tension mounts up. So far, so genre.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHowever the film does well to overcome the fact that we canu0026#39;t see (or fight) the assailant and still manages to mount up the tension pretty well for the majority of the film. It is in the last 30 minutes where it goes to pot – where the film opens up the sheer apocalyptic potential the virus has, it chooses to focus on mad deer crashing through windscreen etc and starts to get quite silly. The lack of emotional involvement between the characters means that it is not quite as gripping as it should be – instead they turn on each other really quickly and only once do you feel for them.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe movie borrows heavily from other films (Evil Dead, teen movies, Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead) and in some ways it is not a problem, but in others it is a weakness – for example the climax of the action is obvious because it is clear what it is referencing. Roth does OK as director and generally manages to keep the tension up regardless of the slightly daffy script. Like I say – he loses it a bit in the final 30 minutes and I have mixed feelings about his final scene. He throws in a quite funny joke about perceptions but also tries to mix it with the horror of an impending outbreak around the US. Generally it isnu0026#39;t that great a film but it is one of the better of the u0026#39;teen slasheru0026#39; genre that I think it more or less fits into.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe teen cast are too basic and they are only average – par for the course, if you will. DeBello is OK, Strong is quite enjoyable even if Kern got on my nerves bit. The two female leads are not as well used and a more cynical reviewer may suggest that the film makes lazy use of their naked bodies – again another genre cliché. The support cast are pretty country and do what is expected of them – none of them really do that well and the blame for that should be shared between the cast and the script, which doesnu0026#39;t give them more than cliché to really work with.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOverall I thought this was an OK film. Compared to the genre it is better than some of the other teen horrors that have been around recently although it isnu0026#39;t really that good. The first hour is pretty solid but the final half hour doesnu0026#39;t quite deliver on the potential that had been suggested up till this point. An enjoyable genre picture – nothing more, nothing less.”


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