***Official "CABIN FEVER" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Scott Weinberg, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Cabin Fever [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of 5 (Top Ten of 2003!)

    The Evil Dead. Halloween. Re-Animator. Dead/Alive. Dawn of the Dead. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Phantasm. All classics; all created by young filmmakers desperate to infuse some much-needed life into the perpetually stagnating genre of Balls to the Wall Horror. Not only is Eli Roth's fantastic Cabin Fever inspired by all of these horror classics; it easily fits right alongside them and absolutely deserves the label of 'new classic'. (Sure, 'new classic' is sort of an oxymoron, but you get the point.)

    Every movie studio churns out horror flicks by the truckload. But if you consider mildly entertaining diversions like Jeepers Creepers and The Ring the best that horror can be, you're probably better served by hanging out in the Comedy Section of your local video store. The true horror films almost always come from young filmmakers, the current crop weaned on the works of Romero, Carpenter and Craven, Hooper, Argento and Cronenberg - the ones who love horror films with a passion that borders on maniacal.

    And when these freaks get some backing for their flicks, the more timid element should simply get the hell out of the way.

    Eli Roth's sinfully entertaining Cabin Fever is destined to be mentioned in the same breath as the most beloved horror classics, and if it's not - then I'm simply not doing my job. Unless you want your multiplexes packed to the rafters with Urban Legend 5: More Urban and I'm Still Somewhat Aware of What You Did Seven Summers Ago, I strongly suggest you buy a ticket to Cabin Fever when it hits theaters this summer. Maybe more than once.

    Respectfully borrowing themes and moments from some of the most memorable gore flicks of the past 25 years, Cabin Fever is a horror freak's fondest wish; the sort of movie any self-respecting Gorehound would conceive - given he had the money and talent to do so. So overwhelmingly effective is this movie that Lion's Gate Films is preparing to treat Cabin Fever to their widest release ever.

    Five teens hit the woods for a private graduation party. Little do they know that a truly goopy skin disease is running rampant over the backwoods Texas burg. Suffice to say that they find out soon enough. To divulge much more would be a disservice to the film and its eventual audience, but I'll just leave it at this: Cabin Fever is a deliriously unflinching and addictively entertaining horror flick, one that deftly balances moments of wet drippy gore with several necessary sequences of nasty dark humor.

    In other words, it's the sort of flick that serious horror freaks wait ages for - and then devour with palpable glee. Cabin Fever will not disappoint these people. (I should know; I've been one of 'em for about thirty years.) The cast is surprisingly top-notch (with the standouts being the stunningly hot Cerina Vincent and hero-of-the-day Rider Strong), the makeup effects (courtesy of Greg Nicotero's legendary crew) are wet, slick, slimy and wonderfully disgusting, the direction by first-timer Eli Roth belies a lifetime spent adoring the finest horror flicks under the sun, and the screenplay is laden with homages, references and familiar moments that are guaranteed to tickle even the most jaded horror aficionado.

    I had an absolute ball with Cabin Fever and you can expect me to ride this flick's jock until long after it's released on DVD. Only time will tell if it will be embraced as intensely as the movies I mentioned above, but it's already earned a spot on my DVD shelf...and I only buy DVDs that have serious 'replay value'. If you really dig horror and you skip this movie, you're quite simply a fool.

    Following the film, the amazingly enthusiastic Eli Roth shared all sorts of anecdotes and inspirations with his exhausted audience. He ended his discussion with the line "If people pay to see hardcore horror flicks like this one, I guarantee there will be more on the way."

    I couldn't have said it better myself.
  2. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

    Jun 3, 1999
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    This is now the official review thread for Cabin Fever. Please post all full reviews here.

    Discussion of this movie can be located HERE.


    Home Theater Forum
  3. Hector de leon

    Jan 24, 2002
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    Scott pretty much said it all. I was suprised on how gory this movie got, it truly is a throwback to those classic horror movies from the past, I made sure to look at my pants to make sure they didn't magically transform into bell bottoms [​IMG] . The only nitpick thing I have to say about the movie is some of the teenagers drastic change in personality. I know they have that desease that makes your flesh practically fall of your bone but the changes resulted in some ruthless behavior. Besides that, I liked the film alot. Go catch it!
  4. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

    Jun 21, 2000
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    Wow, what a day. I went to see the flick at 1:30, and at the reel change about 1:30 into the movie, all hell broke loose. The next reel was wound backwards! So it started from the end of the real, displayed upside-down, and played backwards with no audio. I alerted the manager, and she gave all 3 of us passes to see a free movie. She assured me that the problem would be fixed before the next show, so I came home (bitched about it to Scott Weinberg) and went back later for the next show. Everything was relatively problem free this time, but the framing was off for a large portion of the film (standard operating procedure for my theater). Anyway, I'm proud to say that I've finally seen Cabin Fever the entire way though.

    This is the film that horror fans have been waiting for. Forget Freddy vs. Jason, forget Jeepers Creepers 2, and get out and see this film.

    I won't give away any of the story, because you guys should see it for yourself, but Cabin Fever is able to capture many of the aspects of great horror films like The Thing, The Evil Dead, Romero's Dead flicks, as well as many others that I'm surely mentioning.

    Scary, funny, awkward...no matter what is happening on the screen, Eli Roth has us just where he wants us. I was extremely impressed with the direction and anxiously await Roth's next project. Great was also his use of music in the film, especially the work that Angelo Badalementi did. Also falling into this department would be the tremendous use of ambient noise. Watch the title sequence, and the thought of flies will haunt you for hours [​IMG]

    My major complaints about the recent horror fair has been in regards to the characters (or actors portraying them). In Cabin Fever we have non-archetypal characters played by actors with actual skill. While it's not perfect, the acting is better than adequate. I was especially impressed with Rider Strong and Cerina Vincent (shame on me for only thinking of her as a pretty face).

    As Scott has said, this is a film that will be mentioned right along-side classics like Last House on the Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Evil Dead, etc. I can certainly tell you right now that it will be a classic at the Stoneyplex [​IMG]

    On a day when I was feeling a little down about the loss of a comedic-legend, Cabin Fever helped me "turn my frown upside-down."

  5. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

    Mar 4, 2001
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    I just got back from seeing this film twice in a row, so that should tell you what I thought about it. This film blew me away! Sorry EVIL DEAD trilogy, but there's a new and better cabin horror film around!

    The film's opening credits played over slowly decaying flesh with the sound of buzzing flies were quite creative, and actually made the credits entertaining. Also loved the use of music over the credits. Hell, all of the music in the film was just fantastic, and the David Hess songs from LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT surprisingly fit in perfectly too.

    Now, onto the acting. I've always been a big fan of the beyond gorgeous Cerina Vincent, and I've liked James DeBello since DETROIT ROCK CITY, so its no surprise that they were my favorite characers in the film. Cerina has always been a fine actress from what I've seen, but CABIN FEVER gave her the opportunity to really shine, and that's exactly what she did. Add the fact that she's a goddess, and you have one of my favorite up and coming actresses in a good while. DeBello was his hilarious self that I've come to love. He's just great with the comedy material! Joey Kern was good at playing the arrogant asshole, and Rider Strong surprised me with his performance. Jordan Ladd was also great and likeable.

    The rest of the characters are a bunch of oddballs to put it lightly. The hillbillies are pretty despicable characters, and are portrayed 100% convicingly. The mentally off Dennis is quite something with his insane karate moves and delusions of pancakes. Deputy Winston is a weird, horny cop who acts like he's stoned or something. There are also scenes involving bowling and a bunny suit that just raise the weird factor even more, and I honestly loved every second of it!

    The gore was very nasty. The rotting flesh is appropriately disturbing. There is also a lot more gore of other natures in the film as well, and it was nice seeing a pretty gory horror film on the big screen. One scene in a bathtub really got under my skin (pun intended). **SPOILER** Poor Cerina's shaving incident looked so damn painful! **END OF SPOILER**

    Being a dog lover, I loved the use of dogs in the film's storyline. There's the poor dog at the beginning, and then there's the ravenous dog from hell that I loved. Dogs are perfect for use in horror films, and I simply love seeing them used in my favorite genre.

    The woods in the film were put to great use, and the atmosphere was very strong. The woods are just such a perfect setting for horror films, as proven by this film, many older horrors, and the more recent BLAIR WITCH. The cinematography captures the foreboding woods perfectly in this film, and the sense of isolation was high even though they weren't too isolated.

    Believe me, I could go on and on about this film, but I'll spare you. Quite frankly, this DEFINITE new classic is the best horror film since THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, and it looks like there is a new entry in my top 20 favorite films! Take it from me, a man who lives and breathes horror... the film is that damn great, and any horror fan who passes up seeing this film is doing themselves an enormous disservice! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]!
  6. Brett Hancock

    Brett Hancock Supporting Actor

    Jun 17, 2001
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    You guys summed up my feelings on this movie perfectly. My favorite part had to be the Dawn of the Dead tribute

    when he kills the guy a la' screwdriver through the ear

    I'm going to see this again tommorrow and who knows how many times after that.
  7. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

    Jan 23, 2000
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    Saw it yesterday as the first of this weekend's potentially great films (this is quite the weekend).

    I was quite impressed by the film, but not quite to the degrees of the others. This was a wonderful effort from start to finish. The dialog picks up immesurably after the films opening, which was a little rough. There aren't any redundant characters, which does help quite a lot to not getting bored with them.

    Now, as a horror film, this was quite nice in terms of laying on the squirm element. There is a fairly good amount of gore for a film these days, and it's used to largely good effect. There are also great nods to many other horror films, with shots, scenes, and even dialog from some of my favorites (I personally saw Evil Dead, NotLD, The Thing, TCM, and The Blob). Some of the scenes are great on their own, namely the chilling response when one of their own becomes infected.

    Now, I don't think the film was quite perfect. It was pretty loose in some spots, with a crazy karate child, homicidal bowling attendants, and a fairly unconvincing turn of character near the end for the protagonist.

    Altogether, it's a good horror movie, and certainly a nice addition to the recent resurfacing on good horror movies. While not quite as good as it's blood-borne-pathogen brother 28 Days Later, it's a nice old school horror movie that rarely sees the light of the cinema screen anymore.
  8. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

    Aug 31, 2003
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    Almost as much noise has been made about Director Eli Roth's respect and love for the horror genre as there's been noise about the gore levels in Roth's directorial debut, "Cabin Fever." And while it is quite obvious, if you go in looking for the in-jokes, homages and gifts at the altar of Romero, Raimi and Craven, "Cabin Fever" still has to stand up on it's own two legs as a quality film in it's own right, without the training wheels of Horror Classics gone by propping it up. And that's a question a lot of reviewers don't seem to really be answering.

    "Cabin Fever" is a chemically imbalanced, warped sitcom quease-fest of a horror movie, at it's best during the slow builds and reveals, and at its worst when trying to be quirky and irreverent. When the end credits roll, playing out as the punchline to a joke first started in the opening 20 minutes, the palpable dread and cold chills Roth effortlessly yanked out of the audience just 15 minutes prior are almost completely gone.

    The story is pretty basic: Hornball kids go to the woods to get drunk and screw and start fires and get more drunk and bombed and then screw more. They get to the woods and something TERRIBLE happens to them. Trapped in this alien environment, the kids struggle to survive and escape. In this case, the horror isn't a stalking madman with a giant machete, but a flesh-eating cousin of Ebola that causes your flesh to slide off your body like perfectly deep-roasted chicken slips off the bone. The kids are split into stereotypes, the smart sweet girl (Jordan Ladd, as Karen), the sensitive sad sack (Rider Strong as Paul), the brain dead jock (James DeBello as Bert), the smarmy asshole (Joey Kern as Jeff) and the oversexed boy toy (Cerina Vincent as Marcy).

    Roth's casting is nice--Rider Strong's history on the ABC kiddie sitcom "Boy Meets World" actually works in the movie's favor, and I think adds to the characters transformation into a completely wrecked semi-survivor who has to screwdriver people in the side of the head by movie's end. This is one of the biggest strong points of Roth's screenplay, co-written with Randy Pearlstein: The stereotypes end up going against the grain as the film progresses, and it feels completely natural, lending the characters a sort of depth not seen in most horror films. Not to say this is some kind of Merchant Ivory horror film, but the characters aren't shrill cardboard cutouts you root for perish messily. Well--not REALLY.

    The other strong point is Roth's skill at the gross-out. The concept of your skin melting off your body should be enough, but the circumstances he puts these kids into--the normal situations this film's premise twists into green-tinted dread-filled vignettes--there are scenes in this flick that will most definitely go down in the Horror Flick Hall of Fame: Paul's "tender" moments with Karen, Paul's discovery of how the kids are getting infected, Marcy's delusional personal hygiene, these are all expertly shot and edited sequences that will have even the most hardened horror fan squirming in their sweaty seat.

    Like Rider Strong's character in the movie, unfortunately, Roth reaches just a little too far in trying to poke some extra chills and laughs out of this movie, and ends up falling into the poisoned lake himself. There's an entire redneck subplot that seems tacked on for the sole purpose of ending the movie with an extremely cornball joke--not to mention the sort of stunned laughter that comes when audience simply doesn't know what else to do. These are the majority of the laughs in response to the idiot-savant karate-chopping feral child at the country store, and his keepers. A cop, played by Giuseppe Andrews, is too weird to be funny, but too goofy to be work as weird. He's a tweener, and his scenes ultimately detract from the movie as a whole. The same goes for the appearances of the hiker/weed dealer, and the pig farmer the kids happen upon while looking for help. The last 15 minutes of the movie feel so tacked on and unneccessary that the reason for the seat-squirming has changed from uneasy scares to uncomfortable boredom.

    Not to say the movie is a wash--it's definitely a very enjoyable time in the theater, even more so if you're a hardened horror movie fiend. And while it doesn't dig in and clamp onto your intestines like the year's best horror/suspense flick, "28 Days Later" did, Roth has apparently studied both Hitchcock and Stephen King when it comes to drawing out the chills: Show them something bad is going to happen, make them wait a nice and long time for it to happen, (Hitchcock) and when it happens, don't blow it past them like a Nolan Ryan fastball. Wallow in it for awhile and take the gross out to a level just one step past where you thought it'd cut (King). If you're looking for pretty much nothing but raw gore, nasty sound effects and impossible situations, then Cabin Fever is bound to tickle your scary bone like not many movies have done recently. But if you like your horror movies a bit more well rounded, then Cabin Fever is definitely going to leave you lacking. It's a diseased confection, but it doesn't linger in the slightest.

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