Cabin Fever (2002)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Cabin Fever</strong> (2002)

(In theaters, September 2003) The best thing about Director Eli Roth’s first feature is how it sticks to the basics of old-school teen horror: This forest-cabin tale brings back memories of the first Evil Dead films, but the schlock treatment is classic eighties: some nudity (Yay for Cerina Vincent!), a lot of bloody effects, a downbeat ending and incredibly sadistic jokes make Cabin Fever a straight throwback to a certain school of B-grade horror films. This is not to say that the film is without problems, though: For all comparisons with the Evil Dead films, Cabin Fever remains desperately pedestrian, with only a few restrained scares in its arsenal (Just a flesh-eating virus? Bah!) and not much in the way of comedy until the very end, where the film takes an abrupt and sustained turn in black humour. The plotting also has its share of deeply dumb moments, with bad luck being a constant player in whatever happens to the characters. Some of it works (“Have you seen my cousin?”), some of it doesn’t (“That’s my wife!”) and some of it is just weird (“Pancakes!”) Mostly of interest to the horror fans, I suspect that Cabin Fever will be best-remembered as an early work in Roth’s career, if not an minor embarrassment to a few of the younger actors when their career take off.

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