Release: September 12, 2003
by Kevin Lang
Two days after seeing Lions Gate's Cabin Fever, directed by Eli Roth, I found myself rollerblading at dusk with my girlfriend around a local lake just outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. Several creeks fed the lake, and at one point our path that rounded the lake went through an old red barn structure that bridged one of the creeks. The setting looked like something out of a horror movie, as if Jason Vorhees could come walking out of the lake at any moment. Now dark, we finished our skate, and on the way to the car we passed a water fountain just above the path. My first instinct was to clear up the dryness in my mouth. A second later I looked at my girlfriend, and we both laughed as we remembered what happened to the young people in Cabin Fever.
At first, a rash developed between their legs. Then it turned into bleeding soars that spread down their legs and showed up on their backs. In one scene, a girl was sitting in a bathtub shaving. As she shaved a path through the lather of soap running over her leg, her skin came off revealing soars that had formed underneath. The virus mainly spread through the water at the camp due to an infected, rotting body floating in the camp's reserve.
We both laughed at our thoughts as we recalled the film. "I'm going to drink the bottled water in the car," my girlfriend said.
"Good idea," I replied. Then again, what if the bottled water's so-called mountain spring had been infected? I kept quiet and let her drink first. (Just kidding, Kate.)
The above description is perhaps the best way to describe "Cabin Fever." It is an ultra-violent horror movie whose grotesque scenes eclipsed a mediocre story with semi-engaging characters.
The plot was simple. Five college students embarked on a weekend excursion to a cabin in the woods. They talked about life and expressed their feelings towards one another as they swam, drank, and reminisced. All was fine until an infected drifter begged them for help, and when they refused to give it, they ended up sort of unintentionally furthering the spread of the virus that would soon begin to plague them.
Some might try to compare elements of Cabin Fever's story to the vulnerability and arrogance of society, seeing the young group as a micro-unit of the earth's inhabitants on the averaged whole, or they might say that the film reflects the true, uninhibited instincts of man, which all depends on your definitions of both. Others will point out the director's attempt at imitating David Lynch, although here, the Lynch-like character actions were more humorous than anything.
In the end, Cabin Fever's appeal will likely infect moviegoers who enjoy being "grossed-out." Other moviegoers will just be trying to keep down their popcorn.
"Cabin Fever" Review written September 11, 2003, CTF.
DVD Page »
With in-depth release
TV on DVD, and more.
ChasingtheFrog.com, CTF Media