Lion's Gate Films | Review by Dan Taylor
five friends decide to celebrate the end
of the college school year by renting a
remote cabin in the woods, savvy horror
fans know to expect the worst. We've seen
these trips before, ending in demonic possession
and bodily dismemberment (the EVIL DEAD
series), or the old "let's have sex
and go skinny-dipping" plot device
of the FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks.
CABIN FEVER, much to its credit,
doesn't rest on the genre conventions that
it uses to get the story kick-started: there's
the isolated cabin, the horny couple that's
in the sack before the motor of the jeep
is cold, the "friends" who are
inching closer to becoming something more,
and the beer-swilling loner who's packing
a bb gun so he can shoot squirrels. Why?
"'Cause they're gay."
Add in the creepy townspeople
that look like they're fresh from the casting
call of the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake
and you've got yourself all the pieces for
low-budget horror thanks to co-writer/director/producer
To his credit, Roth uses these
clichés to lull the audience into
a false sense of security. While other flicks
creep and gross us out with unstoppable
boogeymen or demons, CABIN FEVER's killer
is far more sinister: a virus of unknown
origin that is infecting the animals
and now the people in the woods.
There's no Indian burial ground
or fallen space capsule. No escaped killers
or visiting aliens on a hunt.
Nope, CABIN FEVER's villainous
virus creeps up on the inhabitants of the
cabin and us silently. Is
it in the blood of the infected hermit?
Maybe the weed from the creepy skater dude?
The water supply? By the time the vacationers
figure it out, they're too far gone to save
themselves. And what happens next is a lesson
in what lengths people will go to in order
Gore fans will be pleased
to know that there's plenty of gross-out
sequences in the flick, lots of spewing
blood, bloody lesions, and sticky-sounding
masses of blood that crop up at the most
The flick also benefits greatly
by featuring a cast that's largely unknown.
Sure, some of us might recall star Rider
Strong as "The Best Friend" in
the abominable 'Boy Meets World' TV show,
but that's not going to make you think,
"Well, surely Rider Strong is going
to make it."
It's also safe to say that
the flick is easily stolen by Giuseppe Andrews,
who pops up here and there as Deputy Winston.
With his sparse moustache, baby face, bike
helmet and "let's party" attitude,
he's like a backwoods version of David Arquette's
"Dewey" from the SCREAM films.
CABIN FEVER isn't going to
make anybody forget startling horror flicks
like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, HALLOWEEN,
THE EVIL DEAD or RE-ANIMATOR, but it's highly
entertaining, genuinely funny, affectionate
horror filmmaking at its finest.
Just don't sit next to Dennis.