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   This movie has an online cover Cabin Fever 1 (2002)
Directed By: Eli Roth


View Count: 1
Last Viewed:2004.04.11
Last/Last Reviewed:2004.04.11/2004.04.17

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It is very annoying to see movies like this one: they benefit from a decent story, and some budget, but the result is very soul-less, and boring. The movie had some potential though, promising some over-the-top gore effects and other fun stuff that are the trademarks of such movies, for those who like the genre of course. Instead, promising effects are half done, the cast doesn't seem to be much involved, and the overall writing too easily references other movies (in particular, Evil Dead), and characters never really get beyond superficial treatment. You have the usual sex-crazed college kids, the gorgeous blond who is best friend with this wimpy guy who's secretly in love with her, and the crazy friend who is there, but no one can really tell why because is so anoying. This is ultimately a movie which could have been made quite differently, and be successful at what it was trying to attempt. The effects ARE interesting, but personally, i got much more from the Documentary than i did from the film itself. I suspect some strong editing here, maybe for the US market? I don't know.

5 friends, 2 couples and a guy, college kids, decide to take a week vacation in some cabin, in some woods somewhere. We get treated to some pitiful character development, with plenty of nudity and sex. One evening, as our guys are having a friendly time around a camp fire, a guy errupts, covered in blood, with skin coming off of him and so on. After scaring our friendly group, he tries to take their car and get to a hospital. He spews blood everywhere, and eventually, our friendly college kids set him on fire. He runs off into the woods. What we learn as the movie develops is that this guy had some very contagious, and very virrulent, flesh eating virus. Quickly, one by one, our guys get infected, and start spewing blood and having skin fall off everywhere.

This could have been such an interesting movie, where the interactions between all those "friends" deteriorate as it gets pretty clear what's going on. Instead, they are all very dumb, and each time someone suspects what may be going on, they do everythying to catch the virus and get sick too. It's stupid, there is no real gripping confrontation where there could have been lots, and ultimately, the story loses its focus when locals (seemingly straight out of Deliverance) get involved and start to shoot all that moves, including things that hadn't been moving for quite awhile already!

When i see movies like that, i really gain much more appreciation for similar movies, with a tenth of the budget, which managed nevertheless to deliver much more gripping material, visually, emotionally, and technically. I'd refer you to Savage Island which i reviewed a few months back. Even though i was quite frustrated by its no-budget aspects, it had so much more heart and soul, and ultimately, was successful in my eyes in every place where it truly matters, and where Cabin Fever completely fails. The result is a collection of half-assed gore effects, in a story with an interesting premise but butchered by half-assed writing, with no characters to get involoved with. This is boring, disappointing, not worth 90mn of your life, even if you love those types of movies.

- Laurent Hasson