Cabin Fever Review
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The most horrifying aspect of Cabin Fever is the 94 minutes it steals from your life.

With that thought in mind, I couldn't bear to squander more time writing a review of this film; instead what follows is a letter to screenwriter/director Eli Roth (if he stops making horror films altogether it'll be time well spent).


Dear Mr. Roth:

If Cabin Fever could have figured out exactly what kind of movie it wanted to be from the beginning, it might have come close to being marginally decent. You could have made it an inadequate horror homage spoof in the tradition of Return of the Living Dead or Peter Jackson's gore-packed, laugh-laden B-movie classic, Dead Alive. Instead, this film plods along in a feeble attempt to take itself seriously—and then back-peddles toward humor whenever little details like plot, dialogue, characterization, and action become important.

  
 
This painfully uninspired story (please note: this is a rather generous use of the word "story") centers on five college age teens who rent a cabin in the woods for a sex-packed, booze-fueled, drug-induced vacation—all the while unaware of a flesh-eating virus that has contaminated the water supply. This was a good start, Eli, with the makings of an Evil Dead homage, but from that point on, you should have got help from a real screenwriter (like your friends from Troma, who wrote the fourth Toxic Avenger film)—or at least a semi-intelligent monkey.

While character and fodder are often synonymous in the horror genre, the audience usually has at least one individual to identify with—otherwise they just don't care what happens. Unfortunately, your "characters" have less personality than your set design: Generic Good Boy (Rider Strong), Generic Good Girl (Jordan Ladd), Generic Party Moron (James DeBello), Generic Bad Girl (Cerina Vincent), and Generic Annoying Guy (Joey Kern). American Wedding (the third American Pie movie) had more characterization, and I’m reasonably sure that a semi-intelligent monkey wrote that entire script!

After you have created a Generic Someone We Care About (Not Featured), give us a threat that’s semi-interesting. A flesh-eating virus that just eats flesh is a good vehicle for special effects—but it’s not that entertaining to watch. Unless you were trying to make a clever comment on the superficial aspects of our self-absorbed culture—which is why everyone who witnesses the hideousness of the virus is driven homicidal—in which case you need to learn the basics first. Because a metaphor is only as good as its context.

In conclusion, for anyone who might have the misfortune of seeing your movie, I offer the following instructions to maximize their viewing pleasure:

  1. Go to menu options
  2. Click on chapter marked "Pancakes"
  3. Watch strange, absurdly inserted Albino child do slow motion Kung Fu while yelling, "Pancakes!"
  4. Repeat for next 94 minutes
This is the only enjoyable, entertaining moment of the movie.

In summary, Mr. Roth, please quit your day job.

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