Home > Horror, Thriller > Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)


In 2002, Eli Roth directed a red-splattered gorefest called Cabin Fever as a throwback to the “tits and blood” style of slasher horror. It was messy, grotesque, and subversive; horror fans praised it for its daring, and it has grown to be a cult hit. In 2009, Ti West directed a sequel, picking up at the obvious hook set up by the previous film, hoping (as always) to achieve the same level of black comedy as the first. Did it work? Let’s find out.

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever is a horror film directed by Ti West, following the path of a strain of necrotizing fasciitis to a high school senior prom. It stars Noah Segan, Rusty Kelley, Alexi Wasser, and Guiseppe Andrews.

Cabin Fever 2 picks up in the woods from the first Cabin Fever, where we see that Paul, well into the advanced stages of a flesh-eating virus, as survived long enough to try like hell to escape from the woods – leaving bits of flesh behind on various obstacles – only to become a large red splash on the front of a school bus almost as soon as he reaches a road. Deputy Winston (a minor character from the first film) is called to the scene of the very gory collision (final score: Bus – 1, Paul – 0), and while he initially decides that the bus had hit one of the rare species of moose that are filled with red Kool-Aid, he soon finds evidence that the large splatter had once been human. Seeing a truck filled with Down Home brand bottled water (filled in the nearby lake, because sterilization and filtration processes are for pussies) headed for a larger down, he gives chase, hoping to stop disaster from spreading further. Turns out the bottled water is headed to a small high school, which is getting ready for its senior prom. After we meet a few principal characters at the high school (the Hero, the Hero’s Loser Best Friend, the two Token Geeks, the Douchebag, the Douchebag’s Girlfriend, the Conceited Blonde Prom Queen, and the Asshat School Principal), things soon ramp up as the contaminated water is distributed to just about every named character and several unnamed characters, and the prom spirals downward into an episode of Happy Tree Friends. Meanwhile, a random group of faceless containment guys from the CDC show up to contain the infection, even if it means killing everyone who isn’t already projectile vomiting their own liquefied organs all over everyone else. So… yeah.

Whereas the previous film was gory but also tense and laced with black humor, Cabin Fever 2 was just messy and gross. There were a few blackly humorous moments, like when the truck driver starts choking at the diner and squirting blood out of his tracheostomy (made more absurd by the fact that one waitress was attempting to perform an exorcism on him when the red stuff started spraying), and the last several scenes in the movie where Douchebag’s Girlfriend (by the name of Cassie) is running around in a prom gown soaked with blood, in a clear nod to Carrie. Unfortunately, though, most of the movie is just a mess, and not even in a way that made the original a good mess. All the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes from every high school slasher movie ever, with absolutely none of the usual instinctive aversion to things like sores and errant bodily fluids that might at least have delayed a few of the deaths. Even in the core cluster of protagonists, I didn’t really see anyone to root for, just people I was waiting to die horrible, gory deaths. At least the first one offered a bit of tension as the disease slowly developed (rather than blossoming all at once into bloody vomit) and had a couple of people I was interested in; of the two characters that survived the first movie, one died right away, and the other was an annoying twit.

While I occasionally enjoy a gory film, I cannot in good conscience recommend Cabin Fever 2, even to people who enjoyed the first one It rides too heavily on gore rather than on a well-paced, intelligent escalation of the plot, and in the end you’re just left wading ankle-deep in red mess. Avoid this one at all costs.

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