Cabin Fever (2016)

016_CabinFever_KA_ONLINE_W1.1-691x1024A group of five friends are terrorized at their getaway cabin. A remake of the 2002 film, ‘Cabin Fever’.

Well, the length of time between original and remake continues to shrink all the time, and this time a remake of one that really wasn’t all that good to begin with (controversial opinion, I realize). I’ve read that this is a shot-for-shot remake of the original Cabin Fever, but because it was that movie that initially put my dislike of Eli Roth into full swing, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it. Also, who cares?

This is one of those movies that really doesn’t bring anything to the table. It’s gross, like the original, full of unlikable characters, like the original, and gratuitous, like the original. You would think that a remake would want to take a second crack at a movie and add something that was absent, or maybe take it on a different path and try again. Rather than do that, however, director Travis Zariwny and writer Randy Pearlstein (who wrote the original with Eli Roth) have decided to go the Gus Van Sant’s Psycho route, and rehash the same thing all over again.

One of the big problems is that it actually manages to fall short of the original. While I dislike Eli Roth, I won’t deny his flair for the disgusting. The original film had some pretty effective, and really gross, gore effects that solidified Roth as king of Gore-Town. This one has put less money into the effects and the result feels like less of a remake, and more like the cheaper version that might have been put out before the original.


As you can see in the image above, the movie is competently shot and has some really effective framing, but looking pretty isn’t enough even in the slightest. It feels a bit like an HD re-release, which is problematic, and like with many HD re-releases you can really see the rough edges that were present on the original version. The movie just feels lifeless, and unnecessary, more like another sequel than anything else. There just doesn’t seem to be any real reason for it to exist. According to the little reading that I’ve done, the movie was made using the original script that Eli Roth had written, which he says he wrote at 22 years old. The thing about the writing we do when we’re young is that it’s almost never any good at all and to rehash it in the same way just seems like an exercise in masturbation more than anything else. Sharpen it up, make the story clearer and more polished… or just release the same old garbage a second time.

I didn’t like the original, and I didn’t like this one. I don’t know what else I could possibly say about it. According to Eli Roth, this remake is smart because “he kept the original script, but he changed the deaths so all the kills are different”. So, maybe that’s an exciting thing but I really doubt it. I genuinely hope that 2016 improves from here.



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