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Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever... catch it.  

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Cabin Fever

For years filmmakers have been trying to bring back the heyday of the horror genre.  One seriously underdone style has been the campy comedy/gorefest which films like Evil Dead 2 and Return of the Living Dead had mastered in the '80s.  Scream was close, but it actually started a whole new genre of self-analyzing horror.  It has also been blamed for the watering down of horror movies, with them being too afraid to go for full-on gore.  Director Eli Roth hopes to change all of that with his debut film Cabin Fever.

Things start out fairly formulaic.  Five college students have just finished their exams and they want to kick back in a cabin they have rented for the week.  There are all your typical horror movie characters.  Nice guy Paul (Strong) wants to be more than friends with his girl friend Karen (Ladd).  They go to the cabin with couple Jeff and Marcy (Kern and Vincent).  Also with them is the goofy, beerswilling Bert (DeBello).  They run into the local hillbillies, including a weird blonde kid named Dennis who does karate flips and bites people.  He sits on the porch of a country store owned by Old Man Caldwell.  You start thinking we are entering Deliverance territory here, or that these people are going to pull a Texas Chainsaw Massacre later on.  After they arrive at the cabin and begin with the drinking, pot-smoking, and sex, the trouble starts.

While out squirrel hunting, Bert runs into a hermit who had been infected with a flesheating virus by his dog.  The guy just wants Bert to help him, but Bert freaks out and abandons him.  Later, the hermit comes to their cabin and tries to break into their truck.  They end up setting fire to him and killing him, which freaks everyone out.  Unfortunately, the hermit dies in the local reservoir, which infects the drinking water.  Karen drinks the water and becomes infected.  They lock her up for safety while they try to get some help (their mobile phones don't work and the hermit broke their truck).  As they each become infected with this virus, things get more and more weird, and very bloody.

In the marketplace of 'me too' horrors, you have to appreciate the movie's originality.  The thing that distinguishes this movie from other horror movies is that, despite being thrown every horror movie cliché out there, the killers are the victims themselves through the virus and the paranoia that surrounds it.

Watch this film now before it gains cult status and you have to wait years for it to be shown on the big screen again!

Percival Tucker

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)