Cabin Fever, even setting aside being a pointless script-for-script remake, just is a bad movie filled with annoying and/or unlikeable characters and shoddy make-up effects work. The only positive thing I can say is at least the cinematography was nice to look at but that’s about it. In the end, this is the poster child on how creatively bankrupt the studios are.
Scream Factory | NR – 99 min. – $22.97 | July 5, 2016
Date Published: 06/26/2016 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 1.0/5
Remakes of late are nothing new but this one really takes the cake. Cabin Fever the ’16 Edition is, from what I’ve read, a script-for-script remake of the 2003 original. Character names haven’t been changes and the premise more or less remains the same with minor alterations. But even if this wasn’t a pointless remake the film is just, simply put, dumb in combination with being an unabashed studio cash grab.
Note: Plot SPOILERS ahead. As if it matters.
The story centers on of five annoying friends — Karen (GAGE GOLIGHTLY), Jeff (MATTHEW DADDARIO), Paul (SAMUEL DAVIS), Marcy (NADINE CROCKER) and the fifth wheel, Bert (DUSTIN INGRIM) — who travel to a remote cabin in the boonies of Oregon for what is supposed to be relaxing weekend of booze and sex.
Their vacation begins auspiciously when, upon stopping by a convenience store, Paul befriends a creepy boy wearing a paper rabbit mask and for this he gets bitten in the hand because… why the hell not. He also gets scolded by the boy’s father when suggesting to reign in his kid. They’re soon run off from the store owner after catching Bert attempting to steal a candy bar. Why? Because why the hell not. His klepto tendencies aren’t brought up again and have no bearing on the plot other than to make us hate Bert from the start. Sadly, he’s not the first to be killed.
Following an explicit sex scene between Jeff and Karen (and she’ll get another scene toward the end), some boozing and a bit of drug use courtesy of a wandering stranger named Grim (TIM ZAJAROS), a couple scenes with Paul and Marcy who were childhood best friends with Paul wanting to take it to the next level; not to mention Bert’s continuance of acting like a jackass and accidentally shooting a man in the woods; things take a turn for the worse when the man Bert shot shows up at their door, skin peeling off, seeking help. Not wanting to get infected, they turn him away but not before he bleeds over their car and Bert, being Bert, fires his gun… right into a car tire. The man is then accidentally set ablaze where he goes running off into the woods.
Soon enough, they too become infected with some nasty disease that tears apart the skin. The cause? Water supplied by a nearby reservoir. This isn’t a big spoiler as its revealed a little over halfway through however only one character finds out towards the very end and absurdly yells out to stay away from the water (in spite of everybody already being infected). The plot also involves a rabid dog with the disease who manages to get inside a locked shed to threaten a member of the group.
Cabin Fever was just an all around horrible horror movie and symbolic of how creatively bankrupt Hollywood has become to the point where they couldn’t even come up with a new story, or characters for that matter, and merely reused writer Eli Roth’s screenplay with different actors and a different locale. Where the original had likeable characters and an often pitch dark sense of humor, this version lacks any humor and a set of characters who were at best bland and at worst loathsome and annoying to the point I was rooting for the virus to off them, mercy not on them but me as a viewer. I also failed to mention Louise Linton playing Deputy Winston, someone who seemed to come from a completely different movie and probably retained the most off-beat aspect from the original.
This 2016 version was helmed by Travis Z marking only his second feature-length film following the dreadful sci-fi/thriller Scavengers. While Cabin Fever 2.0 certainly looks good thanks to Gavin Kelly’s cinematography, that hardly can overcome the major flaws of not only unlikeable characters but the dumb decisions they make right up to the bitter end. I truly hated this movie and thankfully it fell flat at the box office so hopefully it will discourage attempts from other studios from doing the same thing…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
Not much here except The Making of Cabin Fever (11:03; HD) featurette and the Theatrical Trailer (1:48; HD).
Previews – Baskin, The Pack, Tale of Tales
VIDEO – 4.0/5
|Shout Factory, through their Scream line, releases Cabin Fever onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a relatively impressive 1080p high-definition transfer. The movie might’ve been crap but I will admit it was beautifully photographed and that translates to this HD transfer showcasing good, well balanced colors and sharp detail throughout. There were no obvious signs of aliasing, artifacting, banding or other flaws.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
|The movie includes an aggressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. From the blood-curdling screams to the over-the-top score by Kevin Riepl, this was a mostly impressive lossless track. Dialogue levels sound crisp and clear and any ambient noises or off-screen action, such as the growling of the viral-infected pooch, came through the front and rear channels rather effectively. For good measure, the LFE channel also kicked on giving this some nice depth.
OVERALL – 2.0/5
Overall, Cabin Fever, even setting aside being a pointless script-for-script remake, just is a bad movie filled with annoying and/or unlikeable characters and shoddy make-up effects work. The only positive thing I can say is at least the cinematography was nice to look at but that’s about it. In the end, this is the poster child on how creatively bankrupt the studios are, it wasn’t good enough to remake or reboot movies but they’re now recycling the same screenplay. Just lovely. The Blu-ray released through Shout Factory offers good video/audio transfers and a throwaway set of bonus material.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.