Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

Hoop-Tober 2020 Entry #8

I remember the original CABIN FEVER as a film I didn’t quite like, but could vaguely appreciate the lengths Eli Roth went to balance its gross out gore and violence with some morbid black humor in his film debut. So it came as a surprise to me that this remake, which has no redeeming qualities and was a painful slog to get through, was also written by Roth. Everything from the dialog to the acting to the photography feels trite and tired, and no amount of decayed skin and plague-ridden dogs can change that.

The quick summary: Dumb kids in a cabin get caught up in a disgusting plague that eats your skin away. Maybe it’s a conspiracy? Maybe it has to do with the unfriendly locals? Who cares because 10 minutes in you’ll stop caring about any of these characters, and wonder why a remake of this film was necessary….

The biggest issue with CABIN FEVER is the lack of fun. Even during sequences that should be funny - the wanton destruction of their car at their own hands during the scene with the hermit - comes off as dull and stupid, instead of engaging the viewer to laugh at their stupidity. By hewing so closely to Roth’s original story it also suffers from that film’s flaws, but Travis Z can’t raise the material the way Roth could. Again, I’m not the biggest Eli Roth fan (although damn I thought THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS was really good), he can definitely wring some gallows humor from his films, and this remake isn’t even remotely fun.

How do you view success for a horror film? Should there be different criteria? Is it enough to be gory and sick and violent? For me it’s not enough; it has to work as a film. There are plenty of films that have all of that. And they even work as a film.

How about that?

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