February 13, 2016

VOD Review: Cabin Fever (2016)

"Shame on you, Eli Roth, for endorsing this shitty, pointless remake of your own movie."

Let's begin this review with this snippet from our review of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, that I wrote back in 2014:

"The original Cabin Fever (2002) annoyed the hell of us to the point that we nearly walked out of the Theater before it was over. Not sure why, it just rubbed us the wrong way. When we revisited it on DVD a year or so later, we didn't hate it quite so much. Eventually, Cabin Fever grew on us, and it became one of our favorite Genre flicks of the 2000's.

In 2010, Ti West directed the sequel, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. The film's producers and executives re-shot and re-edited so much of the movie, that Ti West petitioned to have his name removed from the credits, and replaced with the infamous Alan Smithee moniker. No matter who is truly to blame for this one, the fact remains that it's a mess of a movie."

I include that snippet because I didn't want to say the exact same thing here, using different words. Plus, I think I'm allowed to plagiarize myself if I want to. If not, I'll probably end up going to prison.

Fast forward to 2014, and there was another Cabin Fever sequel on the horizon, and given our poor initial reaction to the first movie, and how bad the 2nd was one, we new dread. Oddly enough though, we actually enjoyed Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (read our review HERE) for what it was; a gory, bloody, fun, guilty pleasure of a good time.

With that track record, we weren't exactly yearning for a new entry into the Cabin Fever series, and in no way were we ever expecting a remake of the original... and yet here we are, having just watched that ill-advised remake, and we're left asking ourselves "Why us?"

At least this butthole of a cash grab should be the end of the series. At least there's that.

The plot here is the same as the original Cabin Fever: Five friends head to a cabin in the woods to celebrate their college graduation, when they fall victim to a savage, flesh-eating virus that causes them to turn on each other in fear of becoming infected.

That's all you really need to know, and that's all I really want to say. 

Whatever possessed Eli Roth to allow a remake of his Cabin Fever, let alone produce it, is beyond us. This remake pales in comparison to the original in just about every way, and depending on whether you loved Roth's 2002 version or hated it, that's either bad news, or very bad news.

It's a serviceable movie in its own right; it boasts some sharp cinematography, the locations were great, and the gore was plentiful and handled fairly well. It also follows the plot of the movie almost to a T, although much of it was changed and played differently.

Gone though is the bizarre and quirky oddness that made the original so weirdly good. Also gone is the dark humor that made it so wickedly (and mindlessly) fun. Most importantly to us, gone are the likable actors that stood out in the original, each in their own way, replaced with a gang of generically good-looking and nearly interchangeable stand-ins.

Some critics will tell you that this is a shot-for-shot remake, but they're wrong. The remake follows the same structure as the original, and there are plenty of scenes (and dialogue) that are exactly the same, but there are just too many differences and omissions here to be able to accurately describe this one as being shot-for-shot.

They used the same script, but there are scenes from the original that have been omitted completely; some of the scenes are handled differently; and there are new scenes and elements that aren't in the original at all.

I don't think they know what shot-for-shot actually means.

For instance: Dennis doesn't look unique and creepy in this remake. He doesn't yell "Pancakes!" and then start doing his crazy, slow-motion karate flips in mid-air; Deputy Winston isn't oddly affected and nuanced in this one, no, for the remake they made Winston a woman, and one who has an out of place, rapey look in her eyes; there's no cave scene; there's no hospital scene (we missed the creepy bunny); the hillbillies in the original had a "kit" for dealing with the virus, which added a layer of "What the hell is going on here?" to the movie, and that is nowhere to be found here; and the part with the old man in the store with the gun is nowhere to be found, probably because using the N-Word in a movie today would only earn you a Twitter boycott or something, even if that scene is played purely for laughs.

And the inclusion of selfies, posting pics to Facebook, and the "OMG, we have no wifi!" or "OMG, I want to play my video games!" was just annoying, and felt like pandering.

Overall, this movie lacked the humor, style, tone, and quality of the original.

Just like the original, this movie is plenty gory and nasty. Some of the death scenes were handled differently, but they were all nasty and soaked in infected blood and gore, which should at least please the gorehounds out there.

Nadine Crocker has two nude scenes, and she looks spectacular in both of them.

If you're going to remake something, especially a movie that isn't that old, then at least bring something new to the table... or just don't do it at all.

This was a shitty remake of a really good movie, which actually made us appreciate the original even more than we already did. If you haven't seen the original, you might like this one, as it's a serviceable movie in some ways, but just know that it's not as fun, funny, enjoyable, or well-made as the original is.

If you have seen the original, then go watch it again, and forget that this tripe even exists. 

Rent it at your own peril.


Cabin Fever is available now on VOD.


The movie may have been bad, but at least Gage Golightly, Nadine Crocker, and Louise Linton were pleasant to look at.


  1. Saw the original but I've already forgotten what happened there so I'm gonna give this a go. Haha!

    1. Same here. I remember liking the original, but that's about it. Will watch this over the coming days despite the awful review... ;-)

  2. The best thing about this movie was the dog. At least he looked pretty creepy. This was a horrible remake, as if they were trying to cut the best parts of the original. I don't know what was the point of making this.

  3. I agree with Anon that the dog was strong, as was the fire stunt. The cinematography was also serviceable to good.

    But, man, this one was a Do Not Want for me. I found it as depraved as the Human Centipede, but perhaps even more cynical and insulting. All of the joy of the original was burned out, and in its place was hateful sadism.

    The stupidity of the characters trumped most other stupid characters I've seen in recent memory. If horror characters could be ranked from 5 to 1, with 5 being "arguably bad choices" and one being "dumb characters" than this would be a -1: suicidal ferret brains.

    As always, thanks for the review.

    1. It was a Do Not Want for me too, but I've somehow gotten away from giving out that grade anymore. Not sure why.

      Anyway, yeah, this movie was awful.