Saturday, March 19, 2016
CABIN FEVER (REMAKE) (2016)
Directed By: Travis Zariwny
Written By: Eli Roth & Randy Pearlstein
Cinematography By: Gavin Kelly
Editor: Kyle Tekiela
Cast: Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis, Nadine Crocker, Dustin Ingram, Randy Schulman, Louise Linton, George Griffith, Tim Zajaros, Aaron Trainer
A group of five friends are terrorized at their getaway cabin in this remake of the 2002 film CABIN FEVER
I can't tell if this film has really bad acting or of the film and story are so instantly familiar that watching other actors in the roles feels like you are watching someone do an impression of a stand-up act or jokes they saw or heard done by a professional. Now being repeated by them only they aren't as skilled as the original. Which could also pretty much sum up this film. The line readings are just laughably bad.
The film uses the same original script by Eli Roth and Randy Pearlstein. Only adding some interesting elements as well as also taking out some elements. Though minor some of the changes only add more jump scares. Also alternative versions of similar scenes. It is still a basic shot for shot remake.
Just as In One instance a character's demise in the original had the character covered here the character is totally naked and more affected by the disease to a more almost exploitive level. The same with a later love scene that in the original seemed graphic but tasteful. Here seemed to more want to explore a graphic nature and make it seem more real. It is fairly more graphic. Though using the excuse of showing the infection spreading is the excuse. Though this seems to be the only time the direction seems to put up an effort or interest other then on effects. Just as when they set up a character wasting away to see them in some full grotesque reveal that never happens and is relatively tame considering the set-up.
Though then again those elements could have always been in the original script and changed during shooting.
I am all for different character takes and motivations, but when they help enhance the story and make the characters feel more individual. Here they felt more types and again really hard to tell apart.
It also seems in This film when in doubt the director tries to throw more gore at the problem. The reason that it doesn't work is that it seems more ridiculous and not as organic.
Then again maybe now that I am older watching this film. Maybe I can't relate to the characters as much as when I was younger. As the characters in this film I don't remember being so annoying, repulsive and interchangeable.
This film makes the original look like Shakespeare. While no masterpiece at least in comparison. This film actually shows the talent and craft that Eli Roth has rather then just being a hack.
This film feels to glossy. As it loses the originals grittiness. This looks so polished and bright. That it takes any misery out of it. The original felt like it was full of independence while also playing homage of sorts to other films it was inspired. Where as this one feels more like more pure product.
While not as homage heavy. Still not even inspired. Maybe as it is a copy. Which are never as sharp. This film also seems to take a more serious approach. As this film barely has any humor. So it loses part of the films natural Charisma and off the wall surprising humor and darkness. No one brings any excitement or life to their roles as they are unidentifiable and have no comedic timing. And no enthusiasm. So that watching them is torture as you don't care about them or the film. Even in the more outrageous scenes they are played so bare with no energy or finesse.
I can see a studio wanting to remake this film after all the sequels have been burned out and maybe wanting to reboot the films on their own terms, but even they could have tried harder even if no real reason. As the film adds nothing nor does it bring anything new to the table. Not even a good knock off that could have exploited the elements a bit more.
The worst offender to this is actress Louise Linton, who plays Deputy Winston. Who seems so out of touch with the script, comedic timing and character. That in her scenes she brings the film to a screeching halt. Unknown the character is supposed to be a little out of it and strange, but she massacres it. So that she and the character seem tone deaf.
There is an actual scene of a character drowning, and then coming back to life after being submerged for so long (maybe a day) only to be drowned again. Apparently to death.
There is also the bathtub shaving scene that here is a little more gruesome and because of that it is effective, but the less is more approach of the original strangely was stronger and better played. As after awhile in this film it comes off as masochistic with a crueler ending for the character. Just as this film seems more particularly cruel and vicious to it's female characters and then tries to justify it with making Deputy Winston female.
The ending after the credits they add a scene for now real reason. That exposes the violence and fate of a certain character to others. Which is hinted at earlier but seems like it will have a stronger payoff. Rather than a throwaway scene during the credits. That adds nothing not even hope for a sequel.
In the end this film feels like useless remake. Maybe it originally was supposed to be an interesting experiment. If only it was used more creatively maybe it could have been. Instead this seems uninspired and badly made. If this had been the original I could see a reason for a remake. To make the premise more useful and creative. Though how this current one plays is bland with no personality and there is nothing noteworthy.
I have to admit while I didn't love the original CABIN FEVER. It did feel like something special and different and I still believe might be Roth's best film to date. Certainly his most accomplished.
What the film does accomplish is truly showing by comparison. What happens when two directors take on the same material and make it their own. Truly showing the power of certain individual elements of movie making. Which culminate ultimately in craft and style.