CABIN FEVER (2002)

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Christopher (spoilers!)

Before watching this all I knew about it was that it was directed by Eli Roth, a virus was the killer, and that it had Shawn from Boy Meets World in it. I wasn’t expecting this to scare me but I was really interested in how a movie set up like a slasher would work when the killer was not human.

Unfortunately, I do not think this movie really did much. It had a lot of pointless characters, namely Eli Roth himself as an over the top X-Games enthusiast stoner who might be bad but really is just a man lost in the woods. There are also storylines involving love but whenever anything bad shows up people do not hesitate to turn their backs on each other. And I felt like we never really knew much about the virus. It seems like it’s spread through water but one of the characters, who apparently is only drinking beer, also gets infected? Maybe I missed something but I thought the beer was setting it up for that character to live till the end, but that did not happen.

I think overall this was a dud but I’m glad I watched it. I still have yet to see a movie from Eli Roth that I’ve enjoyed. I think his Thanksgiving trailer in Grindhouse is the best thing I’ve seen him do. I am interested in Green Inferno but that sounds like it has even less of a story.

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

I’m really terrible at figuring out movies before they end, which usually works in my favor. Being bad at guessing doesn’t keep me from guessing, though, and I was so sure I had Cabin Fever figured out. I was wrong, but in this case I actually wish I had been right. I knew Cabin Fever was an Eli Roth horror movie that people seemed to love when it first came out. I haven’t really heard much of it since but I still kind of figured it must be pretty good, or at least, okay, or at least, different.

So as the teenagers in Cabin Fever started to die off from what appeared to be an unknown flesh-eating virus, I assumed there was no virus and our main character, Paul, was killing everyone off. The biggest case Cabin Fever made for this theory was the treatment of another character, Karen. Karen and Paul have been friends since childhood, with Paul, having declared his love for her, obviously hoping their cabin weekend together will turn their relationship into something more. Karen is the first of the group to become infected with the virus – and this is shown to us in a scene where Paul appears to be fingering Karen, only to remove his hand in horror and realize it’s covered in blood because he had his hand within her thigh, now infected. What does it say about Paul that he mistook an open thigh wound for a vagina? A lot, but it doesn’t really matter. As soon as the group discovers Karen has the virus, she’s immediately locked away in a shed. Karen, whom at least two people in the group consider to be their best friend, whom Paul talks about being in love with, is literally put out into a shed to be forgotten about and die.

This would be such crazy behavior for anyone really in this situation that I thought it must be something else – that Paul was really a killer, locking Karen away to die after refusing Paul’s advances. Because if Paul, or any human, was not the killer, that means these characters truly thought the best course of action to help this person they love was to lock her away in a dark shed to painfully die alone.

Turns out – I was wrong, Eli Roth was . . . right? Because that is all there is – just a flesh-eating virus. Of all the problems this virus causes, becoming indifferent and/or evil is not one of them. So turns out we were watching some super shitty people who lack any self-awareness the whole time. So in the end, not only is it not scary – I’m pretty okay with the fact that everyone died. Except for Karen. She just really got gypped.

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