Cabin Fever (2003)


There’s a lot of potential in the film to be a cult classic at best. The fact that there’s a group of people forced to live with a flesh eating virus that’s increasing their paranoia and make them turn on each other is very interesting. Also, the movie succeeds in grossing out the audience with some excellent and effective special effects. A person in a message board brought about an interesting theory upon the movie: no one ever actually dies from this flesh eating virus. If you think back to the movie, you’ll notice none of the characters inflicted with the disease actually die.

It brings about a very interesting reservation as to whether this virus was in fact lethal or just very painful, yet never lethal. Like the old horror flicks from the eighties, five sex crazed, booze junkie, college teens go to the middle of nowhere with basically no contact from the outside world, and go on a vacation where every sentence muttered by a character is accompanied by, or features a profane word, and manage to shed clothing, and have sex at the drop of a hat. Written and directed by Eli Roth, (a man who should never ever be allowed near a film set again) he not only draws the typical cliché teen characters and plot set ups, but adds yet another horror a la “Deliverance”, a small town featuring a dazzling array of inbred hillbilly half wits who wear overalls, sling shotguns, and haven’t a brain to spare.

The story is amateurishly set up from the very beginning spawning crater sized plot holes that Eli Roth never bothers to answer (here I go): Five college students go on vacation, why? For what reason? We never learn. They go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, why? For what reason? No one knows. A bum’s dog gets a flesh eating virus, why? How? Where did it come from? We never find out. That’s one of the main aspects of the film that really got on my nerves and had me screaming at the screen in the empty movie theater: Where did the flesh eating virus come from?! No one tells us, the story never tells us, the characters never tell us, and we never get even a hint, yet Roth insults the audiences intelligence by flinging this inane and senseless plot towards us expecting the viewing audience to buy everything that’s happening.

Did he really think we wouldn’t ask these questions?! Every movie has some small and minor plot holes nowadays, but this film is utterly ridiculous. Also, for no reason whatsoever, characters and plot elements appear out of nowhere adding nothing to the story, and all look tacked on to increase the running time of the movie. Throughout the entire movie there’s also a cannibalistic dog taunting the teens, trying to eat them. Who’s dog is it? Why is it so intent on killing the teens? Why does it have a taste for their flesh? Roth never bothers to tell us. For no reason whatsoever, there is gore, lots and lots of sickening senseless gore. The movie features lots of amazingly terrible gross out moments including a girl shaving her skin off in the shower, perverted molestation scene featuring blood, a lot of vomiting, and plenty ‘a rotting corpses to go around.

Roth is not a talented filmmaker because he uses the gore as a main point of the movie and the plot is simply a backdrop when in fact he could have used the gore to his advantage. All of the make-up effects in this film aren’t used creatively yet act as simply shock value to stun the audience. You can almost hear Roth behind the camera saying: “Hey people look at this gross thing!” Roth makes no attempt at creating a likable character in the film and it’s obvious by watching in the first ten minutes. The characters are so awful and unlikable that you almost root for their horrible deaths. For some reason or another, a few of the horror movies this year have had an underlying theme of homophobia and there is plenty of it in this movie. Every time the characters do something another doesn’t like, they spout “You’re acting gay” or “you’re so gay.”

It’s all so pointless and incredibly annoying. The townsfolk who reside in the town are your usual hillbilly cardboard characters you see in these types of horror flicks. It’s apparent on screen that Roth hasn’t an original creative bone in his entire body as he brainlessly throws a variety of contrived elements that make a horror movie but never succeeds in assembling them and pulling it off. The film looks like he’s trying desperately to create a horror classic, but it comes off as tried and incredibly futile. There’s not a single original element to this movie, and it all gets worse and worse as the movie progresses. Also, it seems Roth knows he has a lemon on his hands and adds terrible black comedy throughout the film that is not only unfunny, but extremely awkward, poorly added and diminishes any horror or tension.

I had such high expectations for this film, and in the right hands this could have been a masterpiece, yet it’s only a terrible sickening, unorganized piece of corn covered, fly infested dog shit, wrapped in a gory package.