CABIN FEVER brings some new twists to that stalwart horror subgenre, teens in a cabin in the woods. While our not-so-happy campers are beset by The Other here a deadly, fast-acting disease that causes flesh to peel away from bone like wet tissue paper the big problem turns out to be not so much germs as bad human behavior. Don't misunderstand: director Eli Roth goes for the gross gusto at every possible opportunity, and the violence level is impressive. It's just that rather than have characters whose minds have been supernaturally wiped away, leaving them ravenous fiends who can't wait to sink their teeth into somebody else's flesh, the people here start behaving spectacularly badly out of their fully conscious desire to avoid contamination.
We know off the bat that the five college types (Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Joey Kern, Cerina Vincent, James DeBello) are perhaps not the most responsible types, but they seem rather average until the cabin is approached by a stranger who begs for help while suffering from a horrible, disfiguring ailment. While a few of the more level-headed characters consider giving aid, they are overruled, and the freaked-out, vicious response of the others ensures the spread of contagion. To be fair to our unfortunate protagonists, the locals they encounter aren't any more broad-minded or better prepared about dealing with what scares them...
Roth and his
CABIN FEVER turns out to be just what the low-budget horror doctor ordered for the fall of '03.