A handful of unlikeable people head off to a weekend at a cabin in the woods with gory and flesh eating results.
I know what you’re thinking, a remake? Of this? Really? OK fine maybe they were my thoughts but damn no one can deny the creativity vacuum that has swept over Hollywood this past decade or so. Beloved franchises are getting rebooted or getting a sequel fifty years later, some good, most are bad, guess where this one lies.
Eli Roth’s directorial debut back in 2002 didn’t necessarily turn heads but it gave us a semi-good little horror flick and that was that…fair enough a few low budget sequels followed but did anyone see those? Anyone? No? Fine.
For those that are unaware, Cabin Fever is about a bunch of early middle/upper class twenty-somethings that venture out to a cabin way out in the woods, overlooking a lovely serene river. We have our usual clichéd characters, the hot one who’s mind is constantly on sex (Nadine Crocker) the tough one you end up hating but probably siding with, (Mathew Daddario ) the blonde sweet one, (Gage Golightly) the sensitive curly haired one who is in love with the sweet one (Samuel Davis) and of course the weed smoking, video game playing nerd who there’s no way he could have a girlfriend, (Dustin Ingram). Putting in their character names is not necessary since blimey, at times I wasn’t even watching the screen and I knew who was talking and who was doing what they were so basic.
As for the movie itself, first time viewers will find some scenes shocking, some bits outright funny and outrageous but nothing memorable. Like Gus Van Sant did years ago when he remade Psycho shot by shot, here newcomer director Travis Z uses exactly the same script that Roth had written nearly twenty years ago. So, we’re more or less given the exact same story and characters, even the “last thing you think about on an airplane that’s going down” line is still in there. One of the few differences I noticed was that five minutes into the movie I must have counted at least one fake jump-scare every minute, you know, cat in the corner, truck coming out of nowhere, silly things like that which didn’t give me much high hopes. Usually those fake jumps give me the impression that those behind the camera just don’t have faith in their own movie and have to add those jump-scares which is a shame because, despite the movie having more flaws than gore, one thing I can say about it is that when the invisible menace does (finally) come, it can get quite tense.
It’s just a shame that everything and everyone is so loud, some scenes are shot beautifully by cinematographer Gavin Kelly but it’s taken away by crazy edits that score which rises to Hans Zimmer’s eardrum bursting levels we have so come to hate lately. The cast do their best with what they have but at the end of the day, its script and characters have been done since time memorial and better for the most part.
Sounds like I am downright hating on this film, I am not but the original didn’t have much going for it and while watching this remake, that nagging three letter word kept revolving around my head, “WHY?” nothing has been added or subtracted, the original was a fun little hour and something of your life. The only positive thing I can say about this remake is that it’ll probably make some watch the original for the first time and make the few that saw the original want to watch it again for nostalgia reasons.
Director: Travis Zariwny
Starring: Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis, Nadine Crocker
Release date: 13th May 2016