Cabin Fever


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Cabin Fever
The Masked Reviewer

This horror flick from as-far-as-we-are-concerned first-time director/writer Eli Roth features a bunch of kids out in the woods on a camping trip, when something goes horribly wrong.  How can you go wrong with that?

The film stars Rider Strong.  For those of you who watch way too much television, you may recognize Rider Strong (the Masked Revivewer wonders whether everyone in that family sounds like an observation made by the Frankenstein monster).  Rider Strong was in the show with the brother of the kid from "The Wonder Years" and the guy from "St. Elsewhere", not Howie Mandel, the older guy who did the voice of KITT on "Knight Rider."  It's not "Saved by the Bell" but it might as well be.  As soon as the Masked Reviewer remembers, it'll be mentioned.

The film also features several other young (and a few not-so-young) actors: Joey Kern, James DeBello, Jordan Ladd, and smokin' hot Cerina Vincent.  Recognize the names?  Cerina Vincent is from right here in sunny Las Vegas...she once played Maya, the Yellow Galaxy Ranger.  Well, she's all grown up now.  Hubba hubba.  Giuseppe Andrews and Robert Harris also provide memorable moments in the film.

So, in keeping with Masked Reviewer policy, we don't want to ruin anything about the film by giving away the plot.  It will suffice to say that the horror in the film is in the form of a horrible disease.  That, and being trapped out in the boonies with no one to help.  Cabin Fever provides a "realistic" look at the other words, people freak out and turn on each other to save themselves.  That makes for a fun film with interesting dynamics between characters. 

There are a number of cat-scares in the film.  To be precise, there are nine cat-scares.  That doesn't seem like a lot for a horror movie, does it?  But what's nice about Cabin Fever is that it's not just about loud noises and things jumping out at you.  There's a lot of build, a lot of tension, and the filmmaker manages to create some genuinely scary moments. 

Another nice feature of Cabin Fever is that there is a healthy dose of humor mixed in.  Don't be confused: some people have tried to compare this film to Evil Dead, but the humor isn't anything like that in Evil Dead, which defines the humor/horror genre.  Instead, the humor is a bit goofy, a bit macabre.  It's humor that makes sense in the situation, more or less.  There are a few great laughs in the film, which serves nicely to break up the tension until the next big scare. 

Giuseppe Andrews plays a helpful deputy in the film.  It'd be hard to say how helpful he was.

Robert Harris plays the crotchety old General Store proprietor and in his first feature film at age 72, Robert Harris steals the show.

"Boy Meets World."  That's it.  He played the friend of Fred Ward's brother on "Boy Meets World."  Rider Strong did, that is, not Robert Harris. 

All in all, Cabin Fever is an enjoyable horror film.  It's very much a blend between two other films this summer, 28 Days Later and Wrong Turn.  If you saw both of those films and liked them, you'll enjoy Cabin Fever.  Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings movies (and Dead Alive and Bad Taste, two classic horror-comedy films) is quoted frequently by the distributors as being a fan of Cabin Fever.  It's not as scary as the Living Dead films, nor as funny as the Evil Dead films, but it is better than many of the horror films that have come out lately.  There's a lot of blood and guts, but not much in the film that you won't feel like you've seen before.  The acting is fine, and there is a decent amount of nudity (unfortunately, it's only one woman that appears nude repeatedly, but on the bright side, she's hot!). 

This is a step above films like Jeepers Creepers 2 and has more going on (though less nostalgic appeal) than Freddy vs. Jason.  If you don't like any of those kinds of movies, you won't like Cabin Fever: it's not breaking ground in the horror genre.  But it is well done, well acted, funny, and scary when it tries to be. 

If you like horror, you'll want to get out of the house to see Cabin FeverCabin Fever will give you chills and make your heart race.  Wrong Turn meets 28 Days Later.


Expectation from the Title: The long awaited sequel to Jungle Fever that deals with the forbidden love between a Caucasian woman and... a log.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  The nice youngsters in the film looked out for each other in times of crisis.  For a little while, at least.

The Pros: Funny moments, some good scares, solid acting, nice build-up of tension.  Nudity!

The Cons: Not much new, most of the elements feel borrowed from other films.

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