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Cabin Fever

USA 2002
directed by Eli Roth
starring Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Giuseppe Andrews, Arie Verveen
music by Nathan Barr, Angelo Badalamenti

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Same old story: 5 college kids - Jeff (Joey Kern) with girlfriend Marcy (Cerina Vincent), Paul (Rider Strong) with Karen (Jordan Ladd), who he's secretly in love with & Bert (James DeBello) - go to backwoods USA for a vacation, to spend a week in a remote cabin doing what college kids do - having sex, drinking, smoking pot & shooting squirrels. However, their idyll is soon disturbed by hermit Henry (Arie Verveen), who seems to be terminally ill, with his skin rotting on his living body. For some reason, instead of helping him, the kids violently chase him away, crashing their own car while doing so (clever guys, aren't they ?) & setting the man on fire. However soon they are plagued by guilt, fear of being found out & the desperate need to get away, but all the backwood-folks are acting pretty weird & distrusting towards these urbanite college kids, including deputy Winston (Giuseppe Andrews). Additional to all that mess, Karen soon falls ill with the same disease as Henry, & our kids have no better idea than to lock her away in a nearby shed. Now Bert is trying to fix the car, but they are under constant attack by Henry's dog, & it soon becomes apparent that Bert has taken ill too - & in the fighting among the group that ensues drives off alone. Of course he soon has aq lynchmob following him (after all, this is hillbilly country, isn't it ?).

The rest of the group soon drifts apart, too, with Jeff taking off into the woods in order to get royally drunk, Marcy (Jeff's girlfriend) suddenly having sex with Paul, before he heads off, too & she is eaten up by Henry's dog. Paul meanwhile finds Henry's corpse in the water reservoir (which will definitely help spreading the disease) &, upon coming back, decides to kill Karen (?) with a shovel to put her out of her misery. When later Bert returns, still on the run from the lynchmob, Paul decides in helping him fight them - a fight that costs Bert's life, but also the whole mob bites the dust.

Later, Paul, by now suffering from the disease as well, even manages to get to a hospital, but the doctors cannot cure him but notice the disease to be highly contagious, so they do the only decent (?) thing, handing him over to the police, for deputy Winston to kill him.

& Jeff, you might ask. He did actually survive without being infected, and, when he finds the corpses of his friends, becomes overtaken by ... euphoria (?), only to in the end be shot by the police as well.

But the disease might never be over, since we see kids already selling homemade lemonade made from the contaminated water ...

 

Judging from the actions of the characters this might have been an existentialist drama about the inability to communicate in the modern world, judging from the characters themselves ... this is just bad. No efforts were made to give the characters any life at all, they are just the same cut-outs used in so many other teenage horror-movies, only, they are a completely unsympathetic hateable bunch. How can an audience even remotely care for someone who has no better idea of treating a sick man than to set him on fire ? Who locks away a close firend in a shed  just because she is sick ? Who even kills her with a shovel ?

Now it might be, they are doing all this only because they are infected, however, if that is so (& I really don't know - or much care, for that matter), the director put absolutely no effort into transmitting it to the audience. Apart from the weak handling of the storyline, the movie is not much more than a patchwork of genre stereotypes stolen from just about any other movie remotely dealing with similar subjects, so no surprises there.

Definitely not worth a look !

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD