Cabin Fever (2002)

Cabin Fever
Director: Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth, Randy Pearlstein
Cast: Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern

Paul (Rider Strong), Karen (Jordan Ladd), Bert (James DeBello), Marcy (Cerina Vincent and Jeff (Joey Kern) are planning a nice weekend in a cabin in the woods. But as these things go, they start to go creepy as soon as they want to stack up their supplies at the local store. But when they reach the cabin and are approached by an obviously very sick man (Arie Verveen), things go from creepy to very bad as they slowly get infected by the mysterious disease.

Many horror movies are funny even though they try to very creepy. With Cabin Fever I felt like it was actually campy on purpose many times, but I was much too creeped out to be able to laugh. Which is very nice for a change.

I think it’s fascinating. Cabin Fever really builds up on the most cliché horror tropes to have ever stereotyped their way into a movie. Young people in party mode going to a cabin. Creepy hillbillies. Gore. Sex. Gory sex. Mediocre to bad acting. And somehow Eli Roth manages to take all that, infuse it with camp and it’s still creepy enough to make you choke on your own laughter and genre savvy. Really, rare is the movie where I’m too scared to laugh at the campy bits.

And then the ending is untraditional enough (though the film generally references many movies all the time) to actually have surprised me with its fatality.

The movie does have it’s weaknesses. I didn’t really care much about the characters. They are cardboard-thin at best, but they’re functional enough to make the story work despite that. Plus, the way they behave and the story progresses is not always entirely logical.

But the gore was nicely done and the weaknesses are generally outweighed by the sheer tension Roth manages to create. I really enjoyed myself.

Summarising: If you like horror movies, you really have to see this.

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