It should serve as no surprise to the people who know me that I think “Cabin Fever” is without a doubt one of the worst horror movies ever made and one of the worst movies ever made. Seeing it in theaters was definitely one of the most excruciating and disappointing experiences I’ve ever had. This led me to form a pure hatred for Eli Roth and everything he stands for. Not to mention I did not enjoy Ti West’s film debut “The Roost,” so the chances of a sequel to Roth’s piece of junk entertaining me was utterly slim.
Shocker, my expectations were met two fold. “Spring Fever” sets down a day after the events of “Cabin Fever” where the tainted water in the climax is set to be delivered to a local school on the verge of the big prom. Not surprisingly, every key character in the movie is drinking this water and the slow build-up leads us to some absolutely disgusting scenes that are amped up from the previous film. While that movie was disgusting the gore was detrimental to the plot. Here West and co. just seek to keep the audience gagging. There’s sight gags involving oral herpes, spitting (yes, that kind of spitting), vomiting and of course gross out humor involving a frog’s entrails.
What relevance this series of gags holds to the overall plot is nil. In fact the writers just seem to be biding their time until we start to see the tainted water eat at the principal characters. The writing is so lazy that it relies on the most obnoxious character in the original film to lead us in to plot progression helping us to think back to what happened before the tainted water reached the school’s students and then basically using piss poor set up to introduce the catalyst and never quite finding its focus. Ti West almost seems to have the right idea by following the mold of the original by giving us ridiculously unlikable characters, but he seems to be confused about what to do with the protagonist John.
Is he a prick like his best friends and resident bully, or does he have genuinely good intentions towards everyone afflicted by this biological disaster? And who exactly is he crushing on. the school hotty or his childhood friend? Either way, West tries to bring sick humor and teen comedy in to the mix and fails rather largely. All of the sex jokes are relatively rehashed garbage we’ve seen in humdrum teen flicks, and West takes great pains in mocking himself with in-jokes that land flat but make it apparent the man isn’t even trying to take this in a clear direction; I mean why does the janitor take a bloody piss inside a punch bowl? Why is the Hazmat team sealing off this school in particular? How did they find out about the biological outbreak?
And why is it implied that this disease has never been seen before and suddenly allow one of the characters to look up its symptoms in a medical book? The movie takes too long to set up the plot and then suddenly just rushes right through it with little to no pay off. By the end of the first hour suddenly everyone is infected and the disease is almost instantaneous in its effects, and when we finally reach the prom to see what chaos this infection wreaks, it all basically becomes a footnote to a more heavy handed plot device including a HazMat team and their efforts to quarantine the town and the school making way for a blood bath that is so laughable it doesn’t even succeed in being funny.
It sounds like a paradox but somehow West pulls it off. The man can never seem to decide if he’s making a dark comedy or a serious horror film, thus it’s just hackneyed crap. “Spring Fever” is just as awful as the original “Cabin Fever,” but on a different level. Where Eli Roth tried too damn hard with failed humor, Ti West basically doesn’t seem to be trying at all and doesn’t look too intent on telling an actual story and instead revolves his sequel around sex jokes, gross out humor, and a plot that becomes a footnote in the haze of gore and bad special effects.