Cabin Fever (2016) Review
Cabin Fever (2016)
Directed by Travis Zariwny
Written by Randy Pearlstein (based on the original screenplay by Eli Roth)
Starring Mathew Daddarrio, Gage Golightly, Nadine Crocker, Samuel Davis,
Dustin Ingram, Louise Linton, Randy Shulman & Jason Rouse
"A group of five friends are terrorized at their getaway cabin. A remake of the 2002 film, 'Cabin Fever'."
Yep, that's the official synopsis for this movie so that says a lot about how much effort was made to do something different or original with this remake compared to the 2002 Cabin Fever. Remember the 1998 remake of Psycho? The one that was literally a shot for shot carbon copy just with different actors? Ya I think you get the jist. There's absolutely no point in me going into detail about the story, if you've seen the original film then you already know. If you haven't - shame on you! I'm a fan of Eli Roth, have been since I first saw Cabin Fever in the cinema back in 2002. It was the first horror film that I had seen in a while that felt like an 80's horror film, without actually trying like most films these days do. The grittiness, the gore, the cheesy dialogue and funny one-liners, the nods to the classic horror films like Evil Dead (obviously) and Last House On The Left.
(David Hess' music fits perfctly in just about any good horror movie) but this remake doesn't have any of that. It does have pretty much all the same characters, same names just different actors. Same plot, same setting, just different dialogue.
I know, already you're probably asking yourself "Why fucking bother?"
OK it starts a little differently, Henry the hermit catches a rabbit for dinner and brings it back to his campsite to tell his dog the good news. When he goes to wake the dog up the second he touches him the dog rolls over dead and rotted to the core and basically explodes all over him. Henry yells out the dog's name "Pancakes!" as we also see it written on his food bowl, obviously a nod to the original.
Then we meet our five protagonists, 3 guys and 2 girls with all the same names as the original. They pull up outside the store where they meet the 'pancakes' kid in the original except this kid has a stupid paper bunny mask on, he doesn't do kung-fu and he doesn't scream "pancakes!" Also there's no hilarious racist "those are for ni**ers" old man!? He was one of the funniest ,most stand-out characters in the original and they dont even bother to try and replace him? The Bert character in this steals a Snickers bar from the store but the scene isn't even the slightest bit funny like in the original. Also the guy playing Bert is more of a really annoying obnoxious gamer geek while in the original James DeBello's Bert was more of a wisecracking stoner/jock kinda dude, and way more tolerable. They really hammer home the fact that this new Bert is a hardcore gamer when then get to the cabin and he complains about not having any games to play - What, did you think they'd have a PS4 and an XBOX360 set up,ready and waiting for you? In a cabin, in the woods, in the arsehole of nowhere? You fuckin idiot. Aso the cabin was way bigger and more luxurious than the one in the original so it wasn't one bit creepy. Cabin in the woods? More like condo in the woods.
Later on when they're all gathered around the campfire, Paul tells the same story about the bowling alley that Ryder Strong's character told in the original, except in his version we got clips to go along with his story, making it way better. In this version of the story we get sweet fuck all. Intersting fact: Paul in the remake is played by Mathew Daddario, his sister is the beautiful Alexandra Daddario star of Texas Chainsaw 3D, Burying The Ex, San Andreas and soon to be in the Baywatch remake starring Dwayne Johnson. She was also in season 1 of True Detective and showed Woody Harrelson and the rest of the world just how perfect her juggs are. Also in this campfire scene we meet Grim the happy stoner and his dog Dr. Mambo, except in this movie he isn't really the happy stoner that Eli Roth played but more of a creepy hillbilly.
All the same crap happens so if you've seen the original there's no point in going through it all. People get infected, people die. Another difference is Deputy Winston who was fucking hilarious in the original, played by Giuseppe Andrews "Ya, party maaan!" in this is played by a more straight faced female. She's hot, even with a dodgy scar under her eye but she definitely lacks the comedic impact that her character had in the original. For the rest of the movie just about everything is the same. As a fan of the original I've seen it quite a few times so I sat through this hoping that they would try something different, other than leaving the best characters out and giving Winston a sex change. But they didn't and it's a shame. At least with remakes such as Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of The Dead, they changed things up a bit and tried something different. What is the point of remaking something if its practically the exact same movie? The gore was toned down a bit in a lot of scenes but then in a few others it looked good, like the shovel to the face scene, that was cool but not cool enough to save this waste of time. At the end there is a mid-credit scene with a bit of a twist/reveal type plot device that might be relevant if a direct sequel happens but more than likely it wont. We'll probably just get another straight-to-dvd loosely linked sequel that no one will give two shits about.
Anyone who hasn't seen the original or anyone who saw the original years ago and hasn't seen it in a few years might want to check this out, you might enjoy it but I doubt it because it lacks just about everything that made the original good. Anyone who is a big fan of the original and has seen it a few times I'd advise you not to bother with this as you will only get annoyed and feel like you are owed an hour and a half of your life back. And to make things worse I think the supposed sequel to Cabin Fever 3:Patient Zero (which I enjoyed) got shitcanned to put this into production instead...
Speaking of zero, I give this zero infected dead dogs out of five.