The original Cabin Fever could be packaged up and presented as my first horror movie. If you see it before you’ve dived into that world, you’ll probably enjoy it, but going back to it after watching Evil Dead and Last House On The House makes you realise quite how derivative it is. All of which makes you wonder why the hell you’d decide to remake it.
But remake it they did, and when we say remake, we mean shot for shot recreation. It’s no surprise to see that Eli Roth is a producer here because unlike 2013’s Evil Dead remake (which I can’t pretend I was a fan of) this film has been given no room to tinker. If anything, Travis Z’s effort is less creative than the original.
For what that film at least had, was a sense of humour. It had that Evil Dead vibe which meant that you were able to switch from shrieking with fear to shrieking with laughter (although if you were shrieking at Cabin Fever, then you were probably drunk). That is all gone from the remake. Even when Bert (Dustin Ingram) pulls out an assault rifle (one-upping the rather simpler rifle he has in the original), it’s done with a straight face rather than a wink to the audience.
Taking away any element of comedy also helps you to realise just how dumb these characters are. The moment when Marcy (Nadine Crocker) begins to suspect that she might have contracted a flesh-eating disease, but figures that the natural next step is to shave her legs, takes the biscuit for most ill thought out gore inducing technique I’ve seen on film in a while.
Look, it’s Cabin Fever, except it is Cabin Fever with all the fun taken out of it. The original was at least a film which could be appreciated in the right setting. The first time I saw it was with a group of friends and some beer, and we had a laugh, I don’t think this remake provides the same thrills. They’ve turned an average film into a downright bad one.
Verdict: Hall of Shame