Blu-Ray, DVD Review: Awful ‘Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever;’ Original Available in HD

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CHICAGO – Horror fans heard the buzz surrounding “Cabin Fever” for months before it came out and the film launched Mr. Eli Roth to the “Hostel” films and even a role in the multiple Oscar nominee “Inglourious Basterds”. That film has now been released on Blu-ray to coincide with its straight-to-DVD sequel “Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever,” itself directed by an already-acclaimed new horror director, “House of the Devil“‘s Ti West.

HollywoodChicago.com
“Cabin Fever 2” DVD Rating: 1.0/5.0
HollywoodChicago.com
“Cabin Fever” Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

“Cabin Fever” undeniably had a twisted, dark sense of humor but West’s “Cabin fever 2” takes it several steps further, practically pitching his sequel as a comedic spoof of ’80s teen horror flicks. He moves the action to a high school and keeps the flesh-eating action in place, but his tone is severely tongue-in-cheek from the animated opening credits to exaggerated faculty members to the appearances by over-the-top personalities like Mark Borchardt, Larry Fessenden, and Judah Friedlander.

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was released on DVD on February 16th, 2010.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was released on DVD on February 16th, 2010.
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Video

“Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever” opens with the bloody explosion of the only surviving character from the first film - Paul (Rider Strong) - and the opening credits detail how the water in which Paul was rotting in is actually a spring for bottled water being taken to a high school days before prom. Yes, like so many ’80s horror movies that West clearly loves, the action of “Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever” goes down at Prom.

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was released on DVD on February 16th, 2010.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was released on DVD on February 16th, 2010.
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Video

Also like so many ’80s movies, “Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever” festures some pretty awful dialogue and characters not really worth giving a damn about. The acclaimed slow burn of “House of the Devil” has been replaced here by yapping teenagers walking home from school. It’s stale and boring and when the action kicks in, it’s merely disgusting.

According to an interview in Dread Central, West was so disappointed by producer involvement with “Cabin Fever 2” that he tried to take his name off and be credited as Alan Smithee but wasn’t allowed as he is not yet a member of the DGA. As for the quality of the film, when even the director wants to distance himself from it, that should tell you everything you need to know.

The fact is that you can tell “Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever” was mangled in post-production. The film has a jerky quality that feels nearly incomplete and changes tone so often that you can practically spot what West liked and what he had no involvement in putting together. Like the goo that most of the characters turn into, it’s a mess.

And it makes the first film look like a modern masterpiece. I have some issues with “Cabin Fever” overall but I still remember the sensation that we had been introduced to a remarkable new talent on the horror scene. Whether or not Roth has lived up to that potential us up to you to decide but I think “Cabin Fever” has held up pretty well.

Cabin Fever was released on Blu-ray on February 16th, 2010.
Cabin Fever was released on Blu-ray on February 16th, 2010.
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Video

The Blu-ray release of “Cabin Fever” looks pretty good - it should tell you something about what Lionsgate thinks of “Cabin Fever 2” that only the original is being offered in HD - and sounds even better. For the record, “Cabin Fever 2” looks absolutely awful with one of the laziest transfers I’ve ever seen and audio mix that never sounds right. It’s a movie the studio wants to forget (and the director wants nothing to do with) slapped on to a standard DVD. I’ve seen burned home movies that looked and sounded better.

The excellent special features on “Cabin Fever” include an audio commentary by Roth, Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Cerina Vincent, and Joey Kern, “Director’s Shorts: The Rotten Fruit” - includes 2 never-before-seen shorts, “Beneath the Skin: The Making of Cabin Fever,” Director’s Behind-the-Scenes photos, “Family Friendly Version,” “Pancakes!,” and the film’s theatrical trailer.

The choice is clear. Horror fans should pick up “Cabin Fever” and only the most diehard nuts should venture anywhere near the sequel, at least until a director’s cut is released.

‘Cabin Fever’ is released by Lionsgate Home Video and stars Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Arie Verveen, and Giuseppe Andrews. It was written by Eli Roth & David Pearlstein and directed by Roth. It was released on Blu-ray on February 16th, 2010. It is not rated.

‘Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever’ is released by Lionsgate Home Video and stars Giuseppe Andrews, Noah Segan, Alexi Wasser, Rusty Kelley, Marc Senter, Michael Bowen, Larry Fessenden, Marck Borchardt, and Judah Friedlander. It was written by Joshua Malkin and directed by Ti West. It was released on DVD on February 16th, 2010. It is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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