Cabin Fever (2016)
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as Deputy Winston
as Hog Lady
as Guitar Man
as Sherriff Lee Silver
as Harmonica Girl
Critic Reviews for Cabin Fever
Roth's charcoal sense of humor is missing, the cruel irony lacking its hellish zing.
Roth isn't exactly known for being critically defensible or for exercising directorial restraint, but Travis Z somehow manages to up the gore quotient.
Scene for scene, line for line, gag for gag, it's basically the same movie. And the original was no masterpiece to begin with.
Audience Reviews for Cabin Fever
At the point of this movie's release, 14 years had passed between the original movie and its remake. I think that's just way too short of a time to wait for a remake, to be perfectly honest. I remember talking, in my Mad Money review, about how, while there are still remakes left and right in Hollywood, they aren't as bad or as prevalent now as they were in the past. And then, a couple of days after that movie, I end up watching this. Quite possibly the most unnecessary horror remake in quite some time. If the idea was to bring the Cabin Fever story to a new generation of horror fans, given that, again, at that point, almost half a decade had passed between movies, then why not just do a re-release of the original. Which, I'm assuming, has a big cult following and it can be a merging of two different generations of horror fans, those who watched the movie when it first came out (I was a part of that, I was 14 when the original came out) and those who want to experience it for themselves for the first time because they may have been too young to watch it. That would actually be a pretty cool idea. Honestly, as much as I've enjoyed some Eli Roth movies, as far as I remember, I wasn't that big of a fan of the original Cabin Fever. I only watched it the one time in the theaters and I would welcome a re-watch. The pointof the matter is that this really is an absolutely unnecessary update of the original movie and, quite frankly, it's worse than the original. I'm honestly surprised that, out of 28 reviews on RottenTomatoes, there was not a single positive one. Not a one. No one had anything positive to say about this movie. I'll be honest, the only other Cabin Fever movie I watched (there's two more, if you weren't aware), was Patient Zero. I wouldn't go out of my way to say that that was a good movie, but I felt that it had tremendous practical special and make-up effects. It was really impressive for what, essentially, was a low-budget direct-to-video affair. Shame they were servicing a movie that was, largely, not very good. And, if there was only one expectation I came into with this movie, was for it to have quality blood and gore and, honestly, the movie definitely delivered on that. I don't think the practical effects are ever as gruesome as those in Patient Zero and it feels like to give the appearance that this was a better film than it actually was, but it's still really damn strong. Watching the flesh-eating virus as it takes effect over our characters is a joy to watch. The problem, of course, is everything else. Conceptually, the movie plays out very much like Carpenter's The Thing. I realize that that's probably the first, and only time, anyone will ever compare this to one of the classics. What I mean is that the idea of paranoia as a result of the fact that you don't know who has the virus is very similar to The Thing, where this...monster is able to mimic human beings perfectly. The characters in The Thing don't know who the monster is and that creates mistrust in a very claustrophobic setting, which certainly didn't help matters. The movie is going for something along those same lines and, well, it just doesn't work. Problem is just the fact that you never, at any point in time, care about any of these characters. They are the stereotypical teens going out to a cabin in the forest/woods you've seen time and time again. And, really, after Cabin in the Woods, you can't just offer this concept up without at least attempting to subvert some of the tropes associated with this set-up, but they don't. They're very content to play into those tired genre cliches. The fact of the matter is that the characters in this movie are just really poorly written and quite unlikable. Bert is an absolutely insufferable character, to the point where his presence actively detracts from the experience. A lot of the character work just makes no sense. For example, Bert, when it's apparent that Paul and Karen are becoming an item, starts acting like such a fucking dick. He berates Paul because he likes Karen because she nice to him and she likes him because she can control him. And it's like, well, fuck, that escalated quickly. It came from out of nowhere and was nonsensical because Karen has never, at any point, displayed signs of trying to control Paul. So it makes Bert's rant absurd, as if they were trying to give me more of a reason to hate him. Apparently just being himself wasn't enough. And then there's the whole thing with the infected guy coming up to the cabin and everything that happened and how the characters try to act as if it was an accident, when they were clearly responsible for everything that happened. This man was looking for help, they denied him that help and so he tried to steal their car. That's fair enough to me. So for them to try and play it off like it was self-defense was fucking bullshit, you guys are the real villains here, the virus is the real hero. Not all heroes wear capes, much less if that hero is a fucking flesh-eating virus. The movie fails miserably at creating any sort of tension that would lead to the paranoia that comes as a result of the characters not knowing who has the virus and to what extent. There's a jarring shift where Jeff, who was...tolerable at best, turns into a total rich boy preppy asshole. It happens out of nowhere, the characters are just arguing and he comes out acting like a total asshole. I don't know much about cacti, but I know a prick when I see one. And the sad thing is that the movie relies so much on this when it's just not that good. It's not interesting and, most of all, it's not entertaining. The scripting leaves a lot to be desired. If you want this atmosphere of constant paranoia to work, where nobody knows who they can trust, it works best if you actually have characters that you can somewhat invest in. Not saying that they have to be super likable, but just characters that you feel can exist within the context of this universe. Again, they don't have to be likable, you just have to believe in them within the context of the universe. I didn't believe in any of them here. They're just poorly written assholes. Another issue I had is that the score, while good, feels way too intrusive in some scenes and over-the-top for this type of movie. Going back to the characters being assholes, it's as if the movie realized this because the third act or so, when the horror really cranks up, it's like an entirely different movie. By this point I feel that it was too late to change anything, but the horror is decent and tense enough. There is one incredibly stupid moment. I'm gonna try to avoid spoiling anything, but there comes a point when Paul has to mercy kill one of his friends. He drives a a shovel into this person's mouth, separating the jaw from the rest of the face. Somehow, though, this person survives and is actually able to yell at Paul to kill him/her. Paul, instead of putting a friend out of his/her misery quickly, proceeds to throw gas all over them and set them on fire. Now, if you were following the movie, throwing gas over these people infected with the virus really fucking burns them. So Paul, the fucking dumbass, chooses to "mercy kill" one of his friends in THE MOST PAINFUL WAY POSSIBLE. I imagine being burnt alive is the worst way to die even without a flesh eating virus consuming me from the inside out, so can you imagine the pain this person had to have felt. And this moment is played poignantly, like it's supposed to be fucking sad. Paul is crying outside in the shed as he watches the smoke come out from it. This was just really fucking stupid. How was this a good idea in anyone's mind??? Decent third act aside, this movie is just bad when you get right down to it. I'm giving it two stars because of the third act and the practical effects. Other than that, there's nothing to this movie. Awful characters doing awful things to each other. I wouldn't recommend it in the slightest. Not only is this an unnecessary remake, it is an exercise in futility. Stay away from this.
Take the already not-the-great original movie, subtract 99% of the humour, gender-swap a single character and otherwise reel out a shot for shot remake. If that sounds worthwhile to you, I guess you could 2016's Cabin Fever a shot, but personally I'm still trying to figure out how (and more importantly why) this got made... Great soundtrack though.
An almost shot by shot remake of the original film with a new cast... That's all folks.
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