Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Phil sees CABIN FEVER from IFC Midnight-February 20, 2016

In 2002, filmmaker Eli Roth made a huge splash in the horror genre with his directorial debut CABIN FEVER. A homage to Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD, Roth's film's was a breathe of fresh (or contaminated) air. After two less than stellar straight-to-video sequels, the series was reported to receive a reboot using Roth's original screenply with Travis Zariwny directing it. Now I found this bit of news perplexing considering that the original film came out only 14 years ago. However, one must remember that this is Hollywood we're talking so I shouldn't have of been surprised. Once the film was completed, the film was picked for distribution by IFC Midnight. So let's talk about what I thought about the remake of CABIN FEVER.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2016)
The film's official synopsis: Executive producer Eli Roth presents this reboot of his instant classic gorefest, which features all new characters and all new kills. The story is familiar: fresh out of college, a group of five friends retreat to a remote cabin in the woods for one last week of partying—only to become snacks for a gruesome, flesh-eating virus. What’s surprising are the ingenious new deaths, which offer a fresh spin on a horror-comedy milestone. With Gage Golightly (Teen Wolf) and Dustin Ingram (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3).

So what did I think of it!? It was OK. There were some cool stuff in it but mostly it was a shot-for-shot remake of the original. My understanding is that the filmmakers used Roth's original script but all the deaths were going to be changed and they incorporated aspects into the film that Roth wasn't able to include. So believe what you want but it was entertaining, albeit an unessesary remake. But I'll explain to you all in more detail what I liked about it.

First up is the cast. The stand-outs for me were actresses Nadine Crocker who portrays Marcy in this version (Cerina Vincent played her in the original). Crocker's performance was really good and she goes full throttle in her performance and doesn't hold back. Her acting is believable, showed great range of emotions and her sex scenes were very hot. I was surprised by how raw and risqué those scenes were because she was very much in the moment. Very beautiful, sexy and talented, I hope to see more of Miss Crocker. The other actress I enjoyed watching was Louise Linton as Deputy Winston. While she didn't get a lot of screen time, I really enjoyed her interpretation of the character. Now as many of you recall, actor Giuseppe Andrews originally portrayed the deputy in the original film. Zariwny changed the character from male to female because he thought there as no way to recapture Andrews' performance. 

Some new ingredients to the remake/reboot include this crazy infested dog, which as a cool concept. The formentioned Deputy Winston gender swap was a good idea. Again, all the character's death scenes were completely different and very gory, which was a lot of fun to watch. Let's see what else am I missing here......well hell's bells, I think that's about it! Oh, during the end credits we see the police arriving and taking away all the dead bodies. So yeah, that's all folks!

Travis Zariwny is best known as a production designer, having worked on films like BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, WAKE, CHILLERAMA, SUGAR and DIGGING UP THE MARROW. His previous directing duties include SCAVENGERS, INTRUDER and a couple of short films. Overall, I can't really comment on his style cause this was a rehash of the original and I saw nothing new here. I'll have to view his other two films to better make a critique of his directing style.

CABIN FEVER is an OK remake, but honestly, there was no reason to remake the movie. It was perfectly fine but some people can't leave well enough alone. Truth be told, I thought that trailer was better than the film itself. So if you want to see this remake, go ahead but you're better off watching the original. 2 out of 5 stars! It's a rental at best!

CABIN FEVER is playing in limited release in select theaters nationwide. It's also available through Video On Demand. To learn more about upcoming releases, visit the IFC Films website at www.ifcfilms.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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