Review of Cabin Fever (2002)

23 Dec

Cabin Fever (2002) is a horror/comedy film made by the horror enthusiast Eli Roth on a relatively small budget ($1.5 million). The film grossed about 20 times its budget.

Directed by Eli Roth (Hostel (2005), Hostel: Part II (2007)) and this is his directorial feature film debut.

Written by Randy Pearlstein (Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)) and Eli Roth (Chowdaheads (1999 TV), The Rotten Fruit (2003 Short)).

I’ll start by saying that Eli Roth can’t write dialogue, he seems to have learned how people interact from 80’s slasher movies and haven’t been good at that either. However, I must admit that he’s not all that bad at directing, although at times he’s not great at that either. He makes a jarring choice to have a scene where he is playing some bald guy in a campfire story immediately followed by him stumbling in with a fake goatee and acting as a total douchebag.

The characters just suck so much, almost everyone is written as an idiot or a dick/bitch. It is not good that you want the protagonists of a horror movie to die. They are neither likable nor realistic.

The acting is pretty bad, but I’m not sure if they are to blame, because it would take good actors to make the script tolerable and they are not good actors. Well, Rider Strong is sort of ok, maybe it’s because of the horrible performances from the others or the fact that I was a fan of Boy Meets World, but he stands out as not irritating.

The police deputy character was kind of funny, but then again I felt like being slapped in the face by the total disregard of any realism to introduce another stupid comic relief character. Also he shows up twice in the movie and the second time, which is the next day, his moustache is a lot thicker.

“Pancakes! Pancakes!” a kid in a bad wig at the gas-station screamed for no reason, before busting out in kung-fu moves. I guess it was to accentuate that the townspeople are real rednecks and he’s probably a child of incest. You know, a flesh-eating disease isn’t enough, we need some asshole hillbillies as well.

The special effects are pretty great, like when a girl decides to shave her rotting legs and the result shows that she could’ve basically just used a potato-peeler. So yeah, the gore is good, what I can’t say about a scene where they show a dog’s POV and it’s all tinted red. Why? Then there’s a shot where a guy has swallowed a harmonica horizontally, which I very much doubt could be possible.

Overall, it’s an ok throwback to 80’s “cabin-in-the-woods” movies, it is fun if you look past all the idiotic shit. I’d actually recommend it, although I didn’t like it that much.

"This is the last time I try to bleach my femstache using sulfuric acid."

2 Responses to “Review of Cabin Fever (2002)”

  1. Aloha Mister Hand March 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Nice. I agree,this movie’s not really anything special. There’s a few good scenes, plus Rider Strong like you said, but most of it was ridiculous. Especially that hilarious scene with the deer kicking his legs into the windshield or whatever? LMAO Too funny.

    • karlails March 20, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      It’s all just a mix of homages to 80’s horror, disjointed writing and trying to be a real horror movie and Pancakes! (random).

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