♆♆♆- I have already seen this movie.
It has been a long while since I first gathered around the campfire and watched Eli Roth’s classic debut. This is Roth’s first feature film and his breakout into the industry. He has become one of the directors whose name is synonymous with horror. Before there was Hostel, there was Cabin Fever.
After the unpleasantness The Sacrament left in my mouth I was eager to pop this bad boy in and rediscover what made me love Eli’s projects in the first place. I knew that 12 years time wouldn’t age the look and feel of Cabin Fever. It’s a movie I can always rely on for disgusting makeup effects, memorable characters, and hilarious breaks of humor in an otherwise tragic story.
Five college students are hitting the road after finals to get some partying done in the woods. I don’t recall anything indicating the cabin’s official location, presumably to present the “this can happen anywhere” motif. They don’t get to spend much quality time with each other before a menacing blood-covered hermit comes out of the woods and ruins the party. A disease is going around that makes flesh rot from bone and out there, in the middle of nowhere, there is no sanctuary.
I love the use of the backwoods hicks as secondary villains to the virus and they add to the campy feel of the film. Eli Roth has absorbed his share of iconic horror movies and likes to borrow some ideas from his favorites. He even says so himself in the special features vignette. They are scattered throughout Cabin Fever (and other Roth productions) and my absolute favorite is saved for the near end of the movie. It features one of my most beloved small-time actors Joey Kern and is a throw-way-way-back to Night of the Living Dead!
The cabin seems to be directly inspired by The Evil Dead, and Roth has talked about how comparing the two cabins is the best compliment he could have ever received. I would even go as far as to compare the entirety of Cabin Fever to The Evil Dead. It all fits. The teenagers on their way to get drunk in the middle of the woods, the dusty, withered cabin, the quirkiness of each character, and the sometimes baffling situations all make for a perfect comedy-laced bloodbath.
5 PANCAKES!! out of 5