So cards on the table… I am not that much of a fan of the films of Eli Roth. The only scary parts of the Hostel movies for me was the idea of the Elite Hunting Club, but aside from appreciating the effectiveness of the effects work, I spent the first film wishing these terrible people would just hurry up and die already; the second wishing all these terrible people would just hurry up and die already; and the third one I skipped… because I just wanted the whole series to die already.
Sorry, but I want to like at least one of the characters who I am supposed to be concerned about. I give him high marks for producing The Last Exorcism – one of the few found footage horror films I like – but then again, he also produced the train wreak that was The Last Exorcism Part II.
(Seriously, folks. If you name your movie “Last” or “Final”, can we all just agree that you get one movie out of that story and no more? Please?)
Anyway, my car is broken, and there isn’t a theater playing Deadpool close enough to walk to on this cold and cloudy day – and since while I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Cabin Fever, it was at least a little funny and had energy and I didn’t regret watching it – I decided to watch the remake that more or less came out of nowhere, less than two years after the 3rd film in the series… basically drove the series into the ground.
The things I do for you people. OK. Here we go.
You really don’t need to watch this movie.
If you are a fan of the original Cabin Fever, here’s what you need to know: It’s the same script, shortened slightly, with the humor sucked out. There is nothing here that you need to see, unless you want to see the advancement in makeup and gore effects in the 12 years since the first film was released. The somewhat subversive nature of the original? Gone. The clear delight in the genre that the filmmakers brought to the original? Gone. The break from the norms of the horror films of the time? Gone.
In their place, you have the addition of social media – and a scene that replaces a better one from the original because of that – and the aforementioned effects work, aaaand that’s about it. To be fair, Cabin Fever 2016 isn’t a bad film exactly, but it is a completely unnecessary one. Nothing new has been brought to the table here. It uses the same script as the 2004 original, the same reveals, the same jumps. It looks a little different, but not enough that anything visually really replaces the original film in the memory. The actors are fine – the guys are the guys and the girls are hot and take their clothes off at the right places – but nothing changes enough to make this anything other than an inferior remake.
For those of you who have never seen the original Cabin Fever, here’s what you need to know: This is an OK way to spend an hour and a half if you like this sort of thing, but after you do, go watch the original film and see what brought Eli Roth to the attention of the horror world and watch a film that – fan or not of his work – is clearly made by someone who loves the horror genre.