A Remake of Sorts? A CABIN FEVER (2016) Review

Well, I watched the Cabin Fever remake, and when the movie ended, I had a feeling that I haven’t felt in 18 years; the exact feeling I had when walking out of the theater from seeing the 1998 Psycho remake.

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I’m actually okay with remakes; ones such as The Fly, The Thing, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, and Evil Dead, all brought something new and fresh to the table, making them their own entity, yet still paying their respects to the original source material.

Cabin Fever, though, all I can say is WTF?

The opening aerial shots, the music; all had me sit up in my seat, making me think we were about to be proved wrong by this pointless rehashing.

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The chords of “Dreams of a Witches’ Sabbath” ring out, paying homage to The Shining as the camera glides through the sky, and over the forestry landscape. Sounds promising, right??!

Never have I seen such amazing cinematography wasted on such a CRAP film.

Not only does the movie sludge through with nothing new to bring to the table, it totally disregards any of the good stuff that the original offered. It’s like their mission was to take a heaping, fresh, mango-sized dump all over the 2002 original.

The original, to me, is what really reinvigorated the horror genre in the early 2000’s. At a time when we were being fed American versions of “J-Horror”, and left over MTV stylized, glossy horror, Cabin Fever knocked down the door with gore, likeable characters, and fun that hadn’t been seen since the glory days of the 80’s.

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For this remake, long gone were the fun characters that you could either relate to, despise, or root for. All have been replaced by bland, watered down, run of the mill horror fodder. These kids have NOTHING going for them. The male cast blends in together, sometimes forgetting who is who!

It took me 15 minutes just to figure out who the hero was supposed to be, and the only way I figured it out was when I realized that it was, indeed, a shot for shot, scene by scene, word for word, remake! They only added nice little shots here and there to spruce it up.

Oh, and Deputy Winston, and Grimm? The two weirdo, eccentric characters from the first? Here they are replaced by a good looking, blonde female, who is so out of place in the film, I don’t even think she knows what she’s doing there. The other, Grimm, played in the original by Eli Roth, is now just a straight up random weirdo, who’s only purpose in the film is that he has the dog.

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On a side note, the dog was the only terrifying part of this film.

How can a remake, one that is using the same script, literally miss every mark that the original hit??

Even the reused FX gags came off as being tamer than the original.

I will have this to say; I place none of the blame on the director, and I’m serious. Travis (Z) Zariwny does have a keen eye, and I believe, with a different script and ensemble, could be a wonderful director.

As for Gavin Kelly, the cinematographer? He’s going places. If not for his camera-work, and shots, this film would have been close to unbearable.

Matt Cloude
writer/director/producer & lover of all things horror
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3283609/
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A Remake of Sorts? A CABIN FEVER (2016) Review

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