There is something really worrisome about contagious diseases and the fear that they inspire. What is scarier than the disease itself is the reaction of those who fear it. This aspect is amply covered by Cabin Fever. The group of friends, at first armed with remarkable chemistry, shatters once the first case of infection is discovered.
For a film to be classified as horror, we must find a pretext to confine our characters to a certain location, with a limited number of resources. Here, everything goes: broken down car, dead cell phone, psychotic neighbors, etc. Disgusting clichés are abundant, underlining the film’s unique identity. It is for these good (and less good) reasons that it reminds us of the eighties.
It offers a brand of humor similar to that of The Convent: lots of contrast but well inserted between bloodbaths. Sadly, Cabin Fever should have used a bit more subtlety with this humor. We don’t know what to think of the story when we toggle between both extremes.
Sometimes, we get the feeling that the director wanted to insert the most unusual events in the less opportune moments. Among these, there is a dog that has an obsession for the infected (that wants to devour them), a little girl that bites everyone that comes close and a band of villagers that is as menacing as the disease itself. These events, in my opinion, decrease the importance of the main menace. Cabin Fever will surely not please everyone. It isn’t the most conventional horror film nor the most relaxing but it is very audacious.