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Cabin Fever

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Cabin Fever

Starring: Jordan Ladd, Rider Strong
Director: Eli Roth
Rated: R
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: September 2003
Genres: Horror, Thriller

*Also starring: James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Arie Verveen, Joe Adams, Giuseppe Andrews, Noah Belson, Richard Boone, Matt Cappiello, Julie Childress, Hal Courtney

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1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
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Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

Eli Roth's CABIN FEVER is a sharply written and efficient spookfest. The script even takes enough time in the beginning to do some genuine character development before the shocks start.

The movie, which can best be described as 28 DAYS LATER MEETS DELIVERANCE, concerns five young adult friends who have rented a remote cabin for a week. Although their "resort cottage" is located so deep in the woods that the roads don't go there, a few strangers nicely and not so nicely pay them visits during their stay.

Nestled snug in the cabin are Paul (Rider Strong, "Boy Meets World") and Karen (Jordan Ladd), a couple who have been "just friends" since the seventh grade. Paul clearly is looking for a relationship upgrade, and Karen may or may not be interested in more than just a quick let's-test-the-waters kiss.

Jeff (Joey Kern) and Marcy (Cerina Vincent, NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE), who look like they were probably king and queen of their high school prom, are the other couple. A horny twosome, they can't wait to hit the sack after their arrival. Marcy, who loves to show off her more than ample body, takes one of the film's funniest and grossest moments late in the picture to shave her long legs.

The fifth cabin guest is Bert (James DeBello), a big, lumbering guy who is always causing trouble. Since he is the only one unattached, don't be surprised if you decide that he'll definitely be the first to die.

After the good times have rolled a bit for the partying five, death walks in the door in the form of a horrible and highly contagious disease that causes the affected to have their skin rot off and to spew blood like drunks at a fraternity beer bust. (Speaking of beer, the movie would make a great beer commercial, but I don't have time to go into why. See the movie, and you'll figure out what I mean.)

The disease causes their long-time friendships to quickly unravel. They also become down right inhospitable to the locals, who start trying to kill them as well. A subplot involves a group of hillbillies who protect a local lad named Dennis (Matthew Helms), who sits outside the general store and tries to bite any person stupid enough to sit near him.

The movie is played mainly for fright, but there are plenty of laughs and some sexual titillation as well. The best example of this is when Marcy talks to Paul about her assessment of their situation. "It's like being on a plane when you know it's going to crash," she tells him with a wicked looked in her eye. Marcy has some specific action she thinks such a time calls for. As in most of CABIN FEVER, it is a nice surprise.

CABIN FEVER runs a fast 1:34. It is rated R for "strong violence and gore, sexuality, language and brief drug use" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, thought the movie, which was the first horror movie that he had seen in the theaters, was freaky but good and gave it ***. He liked the mix of horror and humor and the way that the characters were just enough, but not too much, so that we didn't care too much when they died.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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