Cabin Fever (2002)
Main cast: Rider Strong (Paul), Jordan Ladd (Karen), Joey Kern (Jeff), Cerina Vincent (Marcy), and James DeBello (Bert)
Director: Eli Roth


What a dreadful mess of a movie. Why is everybody raving about this movie? Cabin Fever doesn't know whether it's a dark comedy, a homage to Evil Dead, a Stupid Southern Redneck joke, or a no-nonsense horror movie. Eli Roth seems so intent on impressing me with his ability that the result is like an arrogant putz shoving three straws up one nostril and expecting me to be so impressed that I will fall in love with him. No chance, not buddy, not when this movie is one of the most impressively stupid movies I've ever seen.

The inexplicably pornstar-named Rider Strong (actually a skinny and wimpy guy) and four more cheap young actors and actresses play horror movie staple characters like Hero, Pure Girl, Slut Girl, Jerk, and Bigger Jerk. Paul is the hero because he's the least jerkish of the guys here. Their camping trip at a settlement populated by some of the worst Southern freak stereotypes - worst than the Southern stereotypes in Wrong Turn, and that's saying a lot - is interrupted when an infection of flesh-eating virus plague starts going around.

Let me try and point out how stupid our teenaged characters are. The fact that they choose to go to a remote area where cellphones don't work and people are freaks is bad enough. When Pure Girl gets infected, they lock her in a room, explaining that help is too far away. But as we later see, our hero can actually just walk along the road to find help later. How stupid is that? When they can just flee, they choose to have sex instead in the same cabin with an infected fellow. And my favorite: after running away from the Cabin of Morons, one character takes the trouble to return to the Cabin the next day, just so that Roth can impress the world with his dark comedy genius.

More of a masturbation showcase than a coherent movie, Cabin Fever is a bad horror movie. It all but screams "Look at me! I'm an oddball! I'm so funny!" that it comes off like an obnoxious attention-grabber. May I suggest that Eli Roth pull himself together and focus long enough to make a less messy and more consistent movie the next time around. He has the goods to deliver, but in the case of Cabin Fever, neither the discipline or the attention span to. Merely having well-established connections within the indie circuit can only get one so far.

Rating: 59


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