Cabin Fever

You know, I was seriously contemplating hanging up the hook for a while there... 

I was wondering if I'd actually become the critic I always used to blast--the critic that I felt was hopelessly out of touch with horror and its audience. 

As we already know, we're re-living the 1970s this year, whether we're talking about new films or films delayed for a few years (H0KC). And there are only so many ways to say "Well, we're in familiar territory from the beginning..." 

Take WRONG TURN. I crucified this one, for the plain and simple fact that it bored the screaming yellow hell out of me until it finally made a couple of right moves in the last half-hour of the film. Excruciating characters, ear-bleeding dialogue--one of the year's very worst, as I saw it. And yet, there's a strong fan faction that insists it's really good, strong, 70's tribute stuff. 

FREDDY VS. JASON I don't even dare to bother with anymore. I thought it was as stupid as hell, with a very good final showdown--but it's the horror hit of the year, so what do I know? 

Gee... have I become Roger Ebert? Am I now the "older" critic that routinely trashes all the great horror stuff that the younger audience loves for reasons I'm incapable of "getting?" They say it's inevitable... you always become the thing... etc. 

But here comes CABIN FEVER. 

Okay, let's see. What's left for THIS year? COLD CREEK MANOR. UNDERWORLD. CHAINSAW remake. HOUSE OF THE DEAD. Anything else? 

Well, if any of those top CABIN FEVER for my "best of the year" pick, I'll have to nominate that film for "best of all time" contention. 

Wow. We're back in the 70s, all right... (the freakin' LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT SOUNDTRACK!!! Title song covered by David Hess's SON on the end credits!!!)... so what does this film have that WRONG TURN doesn't? 

Try complete and total unpredictability. You REALLY never know exactly what's coming next in this one. Guessing ahead of time who lives, who dies? Perhaps. But you still won't see exactly how it goes down. How could you possibly see Deputy Winston coming? How could you possibly predict "PANCAKES! PANCAKES!??" Don't look to me for details, either. 

And how could you NOT cringe at the hardcore splatter and violence this one dishes out? Oh yes, we're back in the 70s, all right. Early 80s, too. 

How can I put this? LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is invoked, but it's not LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. We can recognize THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, but this isn't TCM. And we sure as hell can see THE EVIL DEAD here (two couples and a fifth wheel go to hell in a cabin), but this isn't THE EVIL DEAD. Nor is it Romero's original NOTLD. And yet they're all here in spirit. 

CABIN FEVER is outrageous, blood-soaked horror with healthy doses of sick and twisted humor... and it's never, ever boring! 

But as to my original question? If I really HAVE become an out-of-touch Roger Ebert for viewers half my age (or younger), then surely this one would have impressed even the big man himself, right? 

Nope. One-and-a-half stars. 

I rest my case.

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