New generation horror master Eli Roth takes us on a bucolic excursion, which as it turns out has nothing rejuvenating about it. To celebrate spring break, a group of five college graduates rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus, which attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals.
Hard on the heels of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which we discussed last week, comes Cabin Fever which follows much the same formula: five teenagers in jeopardy.
After graduation, the Quintet in peril are renting a cabin in the woods. Jeff and Marcy are a couple, Paul and Karen are still just good friends, and Bert's along for the ride. In the woods Bert is confronted by a man with a bloody face - and they gradually realise that a terrible disease is stalking the countryside.
Producer, director and co-writer Eli Roth is trying for something a bit different here; the horror these kids encounter in the woods doesn't come from deranged serial killers but from a deadly, flesh-consuming disease. The film's interestingly directed and very well photographed, but it's maddening because the characters in jeopardy are so incredibly unlikeable. Bert is an oaf who gets his kicks out of shooting squirrels - why did they bring him along? Karen's a tease, Jeff's a coward and so on - a thoroughly nasty lot, so that you really don't care much WHAT happens to them.