Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

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The first two “Cabin Fever” films are really quite good, but the second one was seen as a disaster, with director Ti West wanting his name taken off it, heavy re-editing and so on. Strange how even a misfire from a good director can be more entertaining than a lesser one at the top of their game.

The story this time revolves around a supposedly deserted island, somewhere near the Dominican Republic. On the one hand, there’s actually a large research base on it, where a bunch of researchers have the one and only carrier for Cabin Fever, and on the other a guy marrying into Dominican money has an impromptu stag weekend involving trying to find the perfect spot to drink and get stoned for a few days. Will the virus meet the partygoers? Will there be an ending where we see they didn’t quite contain it?

There’s a curious tension with a lot of horror films like this one, relating to how much setup do you want to do, as opposed to how much time you want to see your heroes up to their necks in blood and guts. Too little and no-one will care about the characters, too much and people may have already checked out before the fun starts. Sadly, there’s way too much damn setup here, with irrelevant and boring subplots a-plenty. There’s the secondary tension of “in an era of mobile phones and global communication, how do we get our heroes away from help?”, and of course the deserted tropical island is perfect in that regard. 

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This is one heck of a gory film, though. Best of the lot is the fight between an escaping doctor and one of the stags, where they literally tear each other to shreds. You have definitely never seen anything like it – it’s what snuff porn for zombies would look like – and kudos to whoever worked out the vomiting special effect, because it looks great.

Turns out, I discovered after watching, that this is a prequel, and it helpfully keeps to the ISCFC rule “All Prequels Are Rubbish”. Well, okay, not rubbish, just…It’s a setup that horror fans will have seen a hundred times, the “whoops, this is how the contagion gets out” is so obviously telegraphed that it must be a joke, and the characters are all a bit * shrug * (with the honourable exception of Ryan Donowho as best friend of the groom Dobbs). Does anyone really care about the origin of a fake disease in a film? Was there a single person who watched the first Cabin Fever and thought “this would be tons better if I knew the exact way that illness made its way to this spot?”

This was to be the first of two prequel films, shot back to back, but unknown monetary problems led to them cancelling the second one, and now the producers are actively looking to do a remake of the first Cabin Fever. IT WAS ONLY TWELVE YEARS AGO, YOU IDIOTS

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Rating: thumbs down

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2 thoughts on “Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

  1. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. Horror Franchises |

  2. Pingback: Slipstream (2005) |

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