Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



CABIN FEVER

A quintet of college boys and girls out for a good time in a cabin high on a mountain have what is surely the worst time of their lives, thanks to a merciless flesh-eating virus.

CAST: Jordan Ladd, Rider Strong, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Arie Verveen

DIRECTOR: Eli Roth

"‘Cabin Fever’ wins laughs not only with its overt jokes, but also with its general, warped affability…Roth is a lowdown wit. You can tell from his gleeful, amoral exploitation of horror flicks' built-in moral codes. Because the antiheroes are college kids, not high schoolers, he can forgo the slasher-film cliche that simply having sex targets you for slaughter. We sense from very early on that these guys and gals are doomed whether they get any or not…The camera movements, editing and special effects have snap, crackle and pop, respectively. As in crackerjack doggerel or dirty limericks, even the worst gags have resonance or rhyme: An ugly racial swipe at the beginning brings on a hilarious punch line at the end. ‘Cabin Fever’ may not be a horror classic, but it's definitely an ideal midnight movie." --Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

"The Great Wide Open can be a hedonism park, but it can also be an awesome terror, and the new indie screamer ‘Cabin Fever’ plugs into ‘The Blair Witch Project's’ breathless dread of endless forest…Five beautiful college friends head up to a remote cabin and soon enough stumble upon a hermit oozing with a cataclysmic bleed-out contagion…As viral Petits Guignols go, it's both pragmatic—no zombies, just wildly infectious victims—and deliciously vicious; the film's key moment involves cinema's most disquieting finger-fuck …Roth's sure-handed movie is rife with queasy discomfort, from the hemorrhaging stranger despoiling a snazzy Jeep, to the hero (Rider Strong) pouring Listerine on his dick after impulse-screwing…Whatever else, Roth's is a refreshingly horny movie." --Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

"‘Cabin Fever’ takes the notion of a rotting rural environment (in autumn), where a toxic, corpse-littered reservoir is the source for commercially marketed spring water, and makes it a metaphor for a contaminated world on the brink of a viral nightmare. That reservoir is the probable source of a contagious disease resembling the Ebola virus, which eventually afflicts all but one of the five brash teenagers who rent a cabin together for a weeklong party that quickly turns into a nightmare. One reason ‘Cabin Fever’ sustains such a palpable mood of foreboding until the end is that it stays away from the supernatural and makes minimal use of cheap shock effects. Because the horror doesn't emanate from a standardized special-effects hell, but from the poisoned land itself, it is all the more ominous… As one camper after another develops symptoms, the five friends panic and turn on each other. And because the acting is unusually solid, their desperate, each-man-for-himself behavior becomes a scary microcosm of mass hysteria and social chaos in the face of catastrophe." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"It's just a loud, derivative grade-Z horror film of no particular distinction, and why it's generated some buzz at film fests is the real and only interesting mystery about it. Here's the wrinkle. The killer isn't a guy in a hockey mask, he's an it: a virus…One by one the kids go down, usually after some really bad behavior. And you find yourself rooting for the virus. Gimme a V, gimme an I, gimme a . . . that sort of thing." --Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"Filled with coarse comedy, flesh-eating contagion and backwoods mayhem, this impressively icky, witty scare pic from director Eli Roth combines the hillbilly-country horror of the first ‘Blair Witch Project’ with the viral decimation and paranoia of ‘28 Days Later’…One could argue that ‘Cabin Fever’ is gratuitously gruesome. And gratuitous in other ways, too, like showing naked coeds, like toying with politically incorrect subject matter (homophobia, racism). But Roth is working in a horror tradition that goes way back -- and he's working it with nasty glee." --Stephen Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

"The film could develop its plague story in a serious way, like a George Romero picture or ‘28 Days Later,’ but it keeps breaking the mood with weird humor involving the locals…If some of this material had been harnessed and channeled into a disciplined screenplay with a goal in mind, the movie might have worked. But the director and co-author, Eli Roth, is too clever for his own good, and impatiently switches among genres, tones and intentions…The movie adds up to a few good ideas and a lot of bad ones, wandering around in search of an organizing principle." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Only the true aficionado of the horror/slasher/deadly virus/mutant-hillbilly movie will appreciate ‘Cabin Fever’ at all, much less make any sense of it…the viewer never seems quite sure whether this is a ‘serious’ horror film or whether it's just supposed to be a hoot…Ominous closeups of water glasses and teacups are the subtle tipoff that all is not right at the reservoir. Nor is it in ‘Cabin Fever,’ although it's tough to get too worked up about a movie so giddily gory and determinedly dopey. It's too bad, though, that Roth couldn't make the thing funnier, because even though he does gross us out, he doesn't do it with nearly enough style." --John Anderson, Newsday

"Eli Roth's debut gorefest is hardly as thought-provoking as Danny Boyle's recent, similarly themed ‘28 Days Later’ -- indeed, one gets the sense that this director's only true aim is to creep us out. It's a goal he handily achieves. Blending classic horror tropes with contemporary medical fears, Roth sends five recent college grads into the woods. The kids, of course, just want a little fun. The woods want something else. Other than a few witty jokes and a game cast, there's nothing particularly special here. Still, the nods to masters like Wes Craven and George Romero -- along with buckets of blood -- ought to thrill horror fans." --Elizabeth Weitzman, The New York Daily News

"Anyone worth their salt can see Sam Raimi's great ‘Evil Dead’ films as the main source of inspiration here. And yet, somehow, industry types who have never heard of ‘Evil Dead II’ are singing the praises of this half-witted knock-off…If this were a David Cronenberg movie, the disease would have some fabulously interesting origin and would somehow connect to real life. But Roth simply uses it the way any other horror film uses a killer beastie. It comes from nowhere, attacks and does not relent. From there, we merely count down to the last man standing, followed by the obligatory ‘shock’ ending." --Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner