If you haven’t seen the original Cabin Fever, I recommend you do yourself a favor and pick it up right now. It holds a sentimental place in my heart as it rejuvenated my love for contemporary horror films, and shows you that sometimes gore comes first and plot comes second. It involves a flesh-eating virus that results in all the characters being covered in sores and blisters and eventually end up oozing to death in the most deliciously disgusting ways possible. And this sequel…isn’t quite the same thing.
Don’t freak out guys…that’s not a REAL pen.
The film opens with a character from the first film pulling himself out of the town reservoir, covered in sores and boils, running in front of a bus and practically exploding. Pretty promising, huh? You then comes to find out that the town’s water supply has been tainted and all the kids at the local high school have been drinking it, and the prom ends up an oozing, pus-filled, vomiting mess. Also sounds awesome, huh? The high school gets quarantined by some unnamed task force, everyone getting shot, but a few random stragglers making their ways to other parts of the country to obviously spread the disease.
Reminds me of my shop class experiences. I’m typing with a stub, by the way.
One of the reasons the original was so enjoyable was because Eli Roth, the writer director, was a huge fan of horror movies and I felt he did a great job of paying homage to gory classics, while also giving enough originality and tongue-in-cheek humor that it was just an entertaining ride to sit back and enjoy. Also I would like to point out the film Hatchet by Adam Green (a fellow Massachusetts native) also did a wonderful job at. This film was definitely trying to recapture the spirit of Cabin Fever without necessarily paying tribute to earlier films. The original Cabin Fever might as well have been the only prior movie the filmmakers had seen, and tried to copy and paste their way through it. I would like to point out, however, that the writer/director of Cabin Fever 2, Ti West, was the mastermind behind what I felt to be one of the best horror films of 2009, The House of the Devil. He did try to get his name removed from Cabin Fever 2 after the drastic changes the producers forced on him, so I won’t blame him for this film.
Not much fighting, a lot more crying, and sadly, not enough dying of these characters.
One of the best parts of the original were the characters. They managed to be such complete over-the-top exaggerations of stereotypes, but you still felt like you actually knew someone like that. These stereotypes made them entertaining to watch, yet also cheer when they met their horrible deaths. In Cabin Fever 2, none of the characters were interesting or entertaining enough to enjoy watching, so the whole time the only thing you wanted to happen to them was for them to die. There is a small part played by Mark Borchardt of American Movie/Coven fame that was nice to see, but that’s about it. The other thing that made the original so entertaining were the effects and gross out scenes. The sequel did have its fair share, from amputations to puking into each others mouth to boobs covered in boils to an oozing and blood covered penis to, well, you get the idea. So in that respect, this movie holds its own and stands above a lot of other splatterfests, but everything that happens in between those scenes doesn’t quite redeem it.
Wolfman Moon Scale