I am not sure what people were thinking when they greenlit the remake of Eli Roth’s 2002 debut feature, Cabin Fever. I’m not sure what any of the companies who put up the money for the film were thinking. I’m not sure what Eli Roth was thinking allowing this film to be made. Perhaps all the individuals involved were thinking, “Hey, it’s been 14 years! No one will remember the original! This will be easy! We have money we would like to just piss away, this is perfect!” and from there a movie was made.
When I was in college, my friends and I came across some paintings by Salvador Dali that wound up in a consignment store. The paintings were actually prints of Dali’s original work that Dali, while bored one must assume, had painted over. The end result was original art, but recycled. The remake of Cabin Fever is just that. An exact remake of the original but painted with trappings of modernity, a faded cult classic painted over and recycled. The end result is a lazy, boring and sad hour and a half of deja vu. The only thing that I can think about the film as a whole is that Roth and co must have felt that the original was a bit dated, since the new attempt mentions “social media” and “Call of Duty” and weed (no scratch that, it was in the original too), also the character of Marcy sports nipple piercings and some tattoos this time around. Like I said, it is all super modern. All the problems that the film had and all the gags from the original are still there, but they managed to remove any of the shock value that the original brought with it (even the gore did not strike me as much as the original…oh wait, that is because I had already seen it before…). I spent the entire run time waiting for one fresh or original take to make this remake worth recommending, but there was nothing. The acting is fine. The direction is fine. The visuals are crisp and the colors are sharp. These mean nothing though when you consider that you have already seen this film before.
There is absolutely nothing here to recommend or to sing praise of, which is upsetting because they could have taken this film, this remake, and actually done some interesting things with it.Instead of taking away their ability to communicate with the standard issue “my phone has no service,” why not actually allow the kids to use social media to document the disease as it ate away at them instead of saving it for a ten second, random end-credits stinger? Why not let them self-diagnose their disease with WebMD? Why not try anything original at all? I don’t know. But I do know that I can save you some time. If you have already watched the original, then don’t bother with this one. If you haven’t watched the original, then, as with Dali painting over a print, I would suggest seeking out the original.