Eli Roth is a guy who divides many horror fans but I love what he has done for the genre. He took back a real throwback gore mentality that has been much less frequent since the 80s. When he debuted with Cabin Fever in 2002 he made gore fun again instead of how it was typically being used at the time which was in much more disturbing films. He really brought fun back into the equation. The same went for Hostel and Hostel II whose success really catapulted Roth’s name as well. He has continued to try new twists on old tropes with films like The Green Inferno and Knock Knock but has also become somewhat of a mentor and benefactor in the genre by producing films like The Last Exorcism, The Sacrament, and The Man with the Iron Fists. Now he is executive producing a remake of his first film, Cabin Fever.
Paul (Samuel Davis), Karen (Gage Golightly), Bert (Dustin Ingram), Marcy (Nadine Crocker), and Jeff (Matthew Daddario) rent an isolated cabin for a weeks vacation together. Shortly after their holiday begins, Karen drinks water from the tap, which is infected from a local reservoir and starts to exhibit signs of a serious flesh disease. Not knowing how to handle the incredibly fast progression of her condition the group scrambles to find a way to survive without contracting the disease themselves.
Cabin Fever is a unique remake in that they pretty much used the identical script used in the original film. New director Travis Zariwny, who goes by Travis Z, trimmed some material out of the script but it essentially stays the same. Cast wise this film is about on par with Roth’s, neither film having a particularly outstanding cast but rather a selection of throwaway characters only there to propel the story. Direction wise Zariwny does not have the same style as Roth and makes his Cabin Fever more of a straightforward horror tale than the borderline parody that Roth’s was. Roth’s film had direct ridiculous humor, especially in the supporting characters, but Zariwny keeps things much more straight. Even the outright silly character of the ‘party’ cop, which is now played by a woman, is more restrained. She still delivers the ludicrous lines but does so totally deadpan instead of for obvious laughs like the orignal. The gore quotient stays about the same though and let’s face it, that is why you watch Cabin Fever. The makeup effects are just as good as the original and the fun aspect of the movie’s gore is just as good as well. But I am still not sure why you would choose to watch this film over the original. It is a strange and interesting experiment but not one that I can really figure out the reason for. Watch it for the curiosity factor and the fun over the top gore, but definitely not to get anything new or different than the original.