Written: Eli Roth, Randy Pearlstein
Directed: Eli Roth
Staring: Jordan Ladd, Rider Strong, James DeBello, Cerina
Vincent, Joey Kern
Opens September 12th
What With 'Deliverance' and Now This, I don't Think
Anyone's Going Into the Woods Ever Again
isn't too much to say about Cabin Fever except 'Holy Shit!'
and 'What's in the box?'
At first I was thinking, "Who in the hell would make
a movie about a flesh eating bacteria" but now it's
more like "Why isn't flesh eating bacteria it's own
genre of horror, this shit is fucking scary!" Cabin
Fever is one of the most perfect horror movies I've ever
seen. Mind you, you'll really need to like horror to get
into it, but if you do, if you really like being creeped
out and made slightly nauseous and totally jumpy then this
will absolutely do it. I'm still feeling itchy all over
and checking my legs for raw spots.
Even though it follows the fairly classic and over used
'group of teenagers are stranded in the woods somehow when
all of a sudden
' style, it's far from generic. The
style, pace and atmosphere of the film are stunning. One
of the really nice things about Cabin Fever is that Writer/Director
Eli Roth realized that in order to effectively work as a
horror movie, the film had to be somewhat unrealistic. Almost
every horror film has an air of disbelief about it; life
is, frankly, just not that scary. In this day and age it's
simply not possible to be stranded somewhere with no avenue
to aid. So you have to resort to hyperbole and fantasy for
But, what Roth does so well with Cabin Fever is a slow
and deliberate introduction of the absurd in very small
increments. The beginning of the movie is rather unthreatening,
kind of creepy, and totally believable. Once the hicks are
introduced you get your first taste of the absurd. But it's
so small that you forgive it. "OK," you say. "I'll
give you that little bit." And then further down the
road, when Bert (DeBello) encounters the Hermit, the movie
asks for a little bit more, and then a little more and a
little more. Until by the end of the movie you find yourself
willingly going along with completely unbelievable scenarios
(death by harmonica!? Dennis doing Kung Fu? What the fuck?).
And you find yourself totally freaked out and loving every
single minute of it.
Roth also beautifully intertwines humor in with the fright,
not too much that the movie becomes a mockery, and not so
little that the movie feels like it's taking itself too
seriously. Also there isn't a single beat dropped; every
moment that can be used to heighten the terror is exploited,
anything that could freak you out does. The best moments
are when Roth combines the humor and the terror together,
so that you find yourself laughing hysterically while you
jump and squirm with fear at the same time.
Like I said there really isn't much to say about this movie
except that it's sooooo good. An excellent job of writing
directing and acting are supported by a genuinely creepy
atmosphere in the sets, the cinematography and the sound
design, all producing a near perfect package.
This isn't a movie for the feint of heart. The only way
you'll like it, is if you really go in for horror movies.
You have to go into the theatre wanting to be scared. If
you do, however, you'll be quite richly rewarded.
Four buckets of ketchup
.err, I mean blood
While Dead Alive still takes the cake as the bloodiest movie
ever made, Cabin Fever is so full of blood and gore and
dismembered feet that even the halest of the lot will feel
pretty damn queasy and itchy and generally diseased and
One hanging question
What's in the fucking box? See the movie, and you tell me,
cause I have no idea. I like that, too. Something that gets
left unopened and unanswered.
Three and a half partially dissolved sore covered hipsters
I haven't had this much fun being scared in years. It's
a much more satisfying fright than The Ring, or The
Eye. I only wish the countless other horror directors
and writers would take a lesson from Eli Roth, who is destined
to have an excellent career.