Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Marty Demarest


Most horror films suck. They're not scary, the jokes are agonizingly lame, the sex is uninteresting, and the acting is usually crappy. And those are the movies that make it into theaters. The horror movies that regularly arrive on DVD shelves are even worse, which is a shame, considering that outside of a drive-in, there are few better places to indulge in a good scare, preferably sexy, than at home.


But because it offers just that, Cabin Fever almost a better movie for DVD than it was in the theater. What starts out like a standard teen sex/slasher movie gradually moves away from tawdry, nervous sex scenes --although it's not afraid to dwell on those -- and into the territory of genuine disgust.


It keeps its Clearex-clean face on for as long as it can, however, and the fact that director Eli Roth can make a movie as upsetting as Cabin Fever that's also goofy and sexy shows that he's learned his lessons from the master horror directors of the 1970s and '80s -- Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and David Cronenberg. He certainly starts with a story that any of them would have recognized. A group of teens -- both coupled and hoping to couple -- head out into the woods for a little love-filled vacation. They end up coming face to face with death.


Roth certainly has a better sense of humor than most of the old horror directors, who were so desperate to be taken seriously early in their careers that they never paused for a genuine laugh. (Some of the jokes here - particularly an attack from a pancake-loving kid - are very funny.) But he's also too smart to leaven his horror with the wink-wink jokes of movies like Scream, which left the basic horror movie formula in place while making fun of it. Cabin Fever, though it will please any fan of modern horror in the way that it hits all the necessary scares and squirms, isn't afraid to use the audience's expectations to set up even bigger scares. And not the kind that jump out at you either. What Roth is interested in is the kind of horror that gets under your skin and starts to eat you from the inside. Literally. Roth knows that a scare has a better chance of sneaking up on you when you're laughing.





Publication date: 06/03/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Masters of 
Eminent Domain
  • Masters of Eminent Domain

    The city relies on a rarely used power to force a property sale — but was forcing the issue really necessary?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • 'Bigger To-Do List'
  • 'Bigger To-Do List'

    Efforts to include racial distinctions in SPD data stall; plus, Obama stumps for Inslee
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • Q&A: PHIL TYLER
  • Q&A: PHIL TYLER

    Meet the new president of the Spokane NAACP
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Felonious Judgment

    A community of hope and restoration can be ours with fair chance hiring
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • A Thin Résumé

    With zero experience in the public policy arena, Donald Trump needs to start listening to those who do have it
    • Jun 9, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation