Reviews: Cabin Fever (2016)

 A Cabin Fever remake? What did you just say?

It lives...out in those the dark.....
something....something that's come back
from the dead. Wait, no.
It's just a remake.  
It was only 14 years ago that indie horror director Eli Roth brought his first ever full length splatter film to the screen. His Cabin Fever was not high art by any means but it struck a satirical chord with genre fans as he added a comedic twist on the tropes that defined cabin in the woods movies for so long. With just enough sexuality, gruesome effects, hilarious redneck humor and a decent little cast, Roth poised himself to become the next best thing. Although the first didn't set the box office ablaze and has its own set of detractors, it still had an original thought at its skin melting core. Roth went on to bigger and better things (acting not directing) while his Cabin Fever was churned into two horrendous sequels. 

Now, haphazardly, we're given a remake/reboot of Cabin Fever. Once again, it's not an elitist, change the face of horror, type of endeavor. This is a mostly unneeded attempt at starting over from scratch that feels too much like the first with a few hard rooted changes. Where the dark humor was overflowing in Roth's version, the 2016 movie plays it much closer to the chest. This is more straight up body horror blended with typical middle of the forest story telling that strays from the previous concept in several ways. Of course, the main elements are there. The budget is below average. And the setup is almost shot for shot. However, this Cabin Fever isn't all bad. It's just nothing new. 

Donnie Darko is my favorite film.
I'm so artsy. 
In fact, there are some things that actually qualify the reasoning behind this rebooted iteration. It's probably related to money and a studio that knows horror fans are hungry for gory entries in this dying age of PG-13 franchise films. Giving a rest to the process of eliminating anything that may scare teenagers away, Cabin Fever goes back to disgusting body melting effects and the stomach turning visuals that made the first so appealing. Unlike the truly sad Martyrs remake, this at least tries to stay as brutal, as gross, and as unflinchingly painful as Roth's version of the film. At bare minimum, this quasi reboot keeps the ideas intact with a fresh slew of pretty boy actors and two attractive girls getting really sick and dying a super nasty goopy death in the middle of nowhere. 

If you're a huge fan of the 2002 movie or have a deep rooted respect for Eli Roth's creative genius (what did this guy just say?), you'll definitely take issue with this flick. Yeah, it's way flawed. And no, we didn't need a remake already. But it's a fair to middling, straight to VOD genre piece that will spawn another fresh batch of horrendous sequels that we'll all probably watch and complain about. Take this one with a grain of salt and know it probably wasn't made for you. This is more for the people that never saw the original and the teens that will rent this on multiple streaming services. Yeah, millennials. I'm talking to you. 

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4 pancakes out of 10