Nothing New With ‘Cabin Fever’ Remake


What’s the point of a remake? There are a couple of things you could accomplish with a second chance: make adjustments to a movie that maybe underachieved or pay tribute to a classic by modernizing it for a new, young crowd. Whatever the reason may be, a remake must differentiate itself from the original. It must have its own niche or quality that makes it stand apart, for better or for worse, because if it doesn’t then let’s revisit my first question, what’s the point?

The Cabin Fever remake did little to make it its own. The story is the same, a group of college kids are looking for a getaway of drinking and doing drugs at a remote cabin. They’re run into by a guy who is infected with some sort of disease and he winds up disabling their car, keeping them hostage at the secluded cabin. The disease spreads and three men from the town, one of which has a son named Dennis, get involved and try to stop the spreading by killing the kids.

“The ‘Cabin Fever’ remake did little to make it its own.”

This new installment to the franchise finally turns a new leaf at the end when Paul runs into deputy Winston. In the original, Paul attacks her and gets to the hospital but they don’t help him. Instead they dump his body near the lake, only to pollute the water further, but he survives as reinforced by the sequel, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever.

Now in the remake, Paul finds Winston and she (in the remake Winston is a female cop who weirdly hits on Paul earlier in the movie) tells him how to find the main road that will lead to the hospital. Not only does she lie to Paul who gets stranded in the woods alone, but then she goes to the cabin and she’s the one who kills Jeff during his “I made it!” rant. Paul, who slumps over next to a tree, appearing to die at any second, is visited by Dennis who peaks over his shoulder. If you’re hoping this next sentence is more of the plot and will clear things up, I apologize but that’s how the movie ends. Not only does this movie make very little changes, but the changes they do make, like the new ending, just don’t work.

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I think one of the big problems with the remake are the townies. In the original, they’re strange, undefined people who yell “PANCAKES!” and perform karate moves before biting your hand. They’re simple folk with different ways of living and thus are hard to identify with but at least Eli Roth had a vision and style and went for it. In the new movie, they seem to have a motive and want these kids dead from the start. They’re weird and different just for the sake of being weird and different.

I feel like I need to address deputy Winston again… the scene where she flirts with Paul is so out of left field and pointless. While she works her magic on Paul, the whole time there’s a threatening undertone. Then there’s the ending with Dennis looking over Paul’s shoulder implying what? That he’s going to finish Paul off? Is everyone in this town immediately out to get this group of kids? Is that the tone Travis Zariwny, director of the remake, wanted us to get? Because that’s sure as hell how I felt.

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In short, this remake is unnecessary. It’s a worse version of the original. Luckily this movie had a limited release so it will be easy to avoid but if you’re really interested, just wait until it reaches DVD or Netflix. I’m sure that won’t be long.