film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cabin Fever 2016 * * Stars

Cabin FeverDirector: Travis Zariwny
Year: 2016
Rated NR
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Samuel Davis, Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario

"We can eat alone, we can sleep alone but we have to stick together". Huh? So quips the paperboard character of Paul from my latest review (he's played by Samuel Davis)

Anyway, the story of five campers subsiding to a flesh-eating virus, is redone in 2016's unrelieved Cabin Fever. If you've seen 2002's original, here's what's different: There's a dissimilar ending, there's an elaboration on the storyline, the Winston character is now a female, the music from The Shining is used in the opening credits, there is less utilization of a red-hued palate, and there are no bloodied flashbacks. Also, the murderous dog named Dr. Mambo is more frantically portrayed, there is virtually no 80's horror feel, and the characters are more sympathetic (I liked it better in the first flick when they were meaner to each other). Still, this comes off as an almost uniform, cash grab remake with director Travis Z (his real name is Travis Zariwny) not updating this thing with any real sense of style or substance (despite a foreboding musical score). He decides to revel in paint-by-numbers filmmaking with his actors/actresses going through the motions as if they were robotic caricatures trying to be Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, and James DeBello (the troupers from the first movie).

In truth, Cabin Fever is a midsize, acting effort that's admirable despite a first hour that makes you want to turn the DVD player off (I was almost tempted to by sheer regularity). You pretty much know everything that comes around the corner. Heck, almost every frame is identical with previous helmer Eli Roth coming back to help out by co-writing the screenplay (did I mention that he's a producer as well).

See the new flick if you're part of a later generation (or if you've never viewed the first Cabin Fever) but know that most of it is a carbon copy of what was screened 14 years ago. That's too short of a wait to redo a film. You gotta let 2002's Cabin Fever breathe a little. Better than 1998's shot-by-shot re-imagining of Psycho but still not recommendable. Rating: 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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