In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Bloody Mess.

Cabin Fever 2, the long awaited sequel to Eli Roth's 2002 gorefest came out this week. Okay, maybe ‘awaited’ is too strong a word.

Director Ti West washed his hands of the project after losing control of it to the moneymen during post production. He moved onto other things and Cabin Fever 2 lay dormant for some time, until finally hitting video store shelves a few days ago.

The flesh-eating disease of the first film makes its way to a nearby small town, where the local high school is preparing for prom night.

Earlier this month, director Joe Lynch tweeted this about the sequel, “Cabin Fever 2 is like if John Hughes jerked off to Street Trash.” Confused, I asked him if that was a positive or a negative, to which he quickly responded, “that’s for you to decide.” Fair enough. Well, now I’ve seen it.

It’s a negative. Definitely a negative.

Cabin Fever 2 is really not very good. It’s a shame because it actually starts out great. It had been so long since I’d actually been paying attention because of all the delays, that I’d completely forgotten that this sequel was actually a continuation of the first movie. I figured it was just a stand-alone movie about a flesh-eating disease that got a '2' slapped on it, like when the solid 2006 direct-to-video title Adrift, got renamed Open Water 2 because it had people trapped in the ocean. This was indeed not the case here. Out trotted Cabin Fever’s Rider Strong into traffic, followed quickly on the scene by Giuseppe Andrews, the bumbling deputy that gave me countless chuckles during the first film. From there, the movie went into a strange, but no less foot tapping animated musical interlude during the main credits ala Dead & Breakfast. For the next twenty minutes or so, it was – as Joe pointed out – very John Hughes. I even found myself laughing out loud at some of the lines. Then, the shit hit the fan, or more specifically, cum hit the sink. It was like the movie just turned a corner, where its only intent was to bombard me with gross-out set pieces that were as empty as they were silly. We’re talking downward spiral here, people.

I can’t really fault the cast assembled here. I don’t know what it is about Noah Segan that I find so inherently likable, especially considering he’s been in so many films that I detested. The enraged speech he gives to the object of his affection Cassie (Alexi Wasser) was one of the few things I liked about the movie’s last half. Man, I’ve been there. I project a breakout role coming for Segan in the near future. And then there’s Marc Senter, who seems to go out of his way to play characters I can’t stand. I guess you could take that as a compliment, since he does what he does so well, but that doesn’t make movies like The Lost and Wicked Lake any less loathsome. Finally, the ending, that included a strip club sequence that felt painfully tacked on, is completely unsatisfying to boot.

It would, of course be interesting to see Ti West’s original vision of Cabin Fever 2 – which I assume was more atmosphere and less ridiculous – but even the framework of this movie seems tainted, like it would only be a marginal improvement. Fortunately, since Ti West has already rebounded from this debacle with The House Of The Devil, we can start forgetting about this unfortunate blip on his resume. I know he probably has.

For an interview with Ti West, where he elaborates on his experience with CF2, click here.

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