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Summer Release Retrospective: ‘Cabin Fever’ Gets The Reboot Treatment, Dies Horrible Death


This week, The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles takes a look back at the summer of 2016 and some of it’s notable (and not so notable) Blu-ray releases. To get the ball rolling, he takes a look at the reboot of Eli Roth’s ‘Cabin Fever.’ Here is a quick rundown on the reimagining, recently brought to home video by Shout! Factory:

“Executive producer Eli Roth presents this reboot of his instant-classic gorefest, which features all-new characters and all-new kills. The story is familiar: Fresh out of college, a group of five friends retreat to a remote cabin in the woods for one last week of partying – only to become snacks for a gruesome flesh-eating virus. This fresh spin on a horror-comedy milestone stars Gage Golightly (Exeter, Teen Wolf), Nadine Crocker (Deadgirl), Samuel Davis (Machete Kills, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), and Dustan Ingram (Paranormal Activity 3).”

2016's 'Cabin Fever'
2016’s ‘Cabin Fever’

REVIEW: Remakes and reboots have been around for decades. Not a day goes by where I don’t read “Hollywood needs to stop remaking stuff! It ruins the original!” or something to that extent. People seem to forget that if done correctly, remakes can be just as good, if not better than the original. Films like Carpenter’s The Thing or Cronenberg’s The Fly are both considered classics even though they are remakes of earlier films. They took the original concepts and made them shine. Even in recent years we’ve seen remakes that switch up the original films in new and exciting ways. Although people will disagree with me I believe there is a place in the world for remakes like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre from Platinum Dunes or Rob Zombie’s Halloween. They are new takes on classic concepts. Nothing can harm the originals, as the original movies will always exist. If a remake isn’t your thing, you can always go back and watch the movie you loved. That being said, I cannot find a place in cinema where we need Travis Z’s Cabin Fever remake.

In 2002, we were introduced to “love him or hate him” horror filmmaker Eli Roth through his charming yet horrifying directorial debut, Cabin Fever. Cabin Fever was no holds barred, almost absurdist, horror comedy about a flesh eating virus that is still one of my favorite films to this day. When I found out last year that they were remaking it I was cautiously optimistic. The two sequels were drastic let downs and I was curious as to what a director could do with a clean slate. Well, when using the exact same script as the original, while deleting about 40 pages of said script, you get nothing.


The 2016 remake of Cabin Fever is almost shot for shot the same movie without any of the charm. All humor that could be deemed “offensive” has been removed and replaced with jokes about Call of Duty and suffering without internet. I should’ve known from the beginning when our main characters had a 10 minute rant about not having internet that this wasn’t the movie for me. I honestly don’t think this is a movie for anybody. The acting is subpar, the jokes fall flat, and the gore holds no candle to the original. I kept asking myself what the point of this was throughout the entire movie. Why remake a movie using the same exact script, beat for beat, whilst removing almost everything that made the original good? People trash the Nightmare on Elm Street remake but give them some credit for at least having a point. The bluray includes a “Making Of” featurette and the theatrical trailer. Even in the making of the actors seem completely uninterested. The director doesn’t seem to understand why they’re remaking it either.

THE VERDICT: I’m a long time defender of remakes. Movies that get remade still exist and aren’t ruined by updates in the property. Your childhood isn’t getting destroyed by these remakes or reboots. However, I know an unneeded turd when I see it … and boy did I see it. If you want to experience the madness yourself then you can, Cabin Fever hit stores on July 5th, 2016.