Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)
Directed by: Kaare Andrews
Written by: Jake Wade Wall
Starring: Brando Eaton, Claudette Lali, Currie Graham, Jillian Murray, Lydia Hearst, Mitch Ryan, Ryan Donowho, Sean Astin, Solly Duran
What’s it all about?
A group of scientists on a tropical island are hard at work trying to find a cure for a flesh-eating virus which has been the cause of death for many people. However, their work is rudely interrupted when a yacht hosting a bachelor party comes ashore and the partygoers begin experiencing symptoms of the virus. As it begins to take its toll and the body count rises, the hopes of containment grow ever more slim…….
The Film Trailer:
The Hughes Verdict
Lets get one thing straight here! Cabin Fever should be one of the best horror franchise’s in the horror genre. The original may have split horror fans down the middle with its tongue in cheek humour and horror gore balance, but it was an original gem way back in 2002 (wow was it really 14 years ago?) and also introduced Eli Roth to the world, which of course for us fans at HCF that is not a bad thing!
Sadly though, for some strange reason, whilst the likes of Final Destination ended up having endless (pointless) sequels, Cabin Fever was left on the shelves, despite the clamor from many fans for a follow up! When we finally had one seven years later, it was a disaster of highest proportions. Amazingly, the sequel was directed by Ti West who has gone on to become a renowned horror director and personally my favorite discovery over the last few years, and while I have to defend him as his attempt of a follow up was muddled with studio interference and many post production changes ( think of it has his Fincher’s A L I E N 3), you can only admit and say that Part 2 is one of the worst horror sequels ever put to film. Not quite up there with the likes of Troll 2, but bad enough to nearly destroy its entire franchise before it even began.
I say “nearly” as now, five years on, we have Part 3 or for its proper name Patient Zero hitting the market, an addition that promised at first to be a prequel to the first two films – hence the title- but then bizarrely ends up being a further sequel that confused me a little as I thought the idea of how the virus got out there was a pretty good idea.
I know that all you want off me is the answer to the question “Is this better than Part 2?” But seriously how bad would this have to be for me to give the answer “yes!” Of course it does not reach that level of shit! But sadly that doesn’t mean that Patient Zero is the sequel we have all been waiting for. Yes it does have great gore and some wonderful sick touches, but sadly the two plots get mixed into one big mess and we left with nothing but another bad acting straight to DVD fare that will only find fans because it has the “Cabin Fever” words in its title.
Patient Zero is Sean Astin, yes, that guy from The Goonies and some little Peter Jackson trilogy of films (what were they called again?) but for me personally he will always be Lynn McGill, whose noble act in Day 5 helped Jack Bauer save the world once more in 24. Here he plays a father whose family died from the virus but somehow is immune to it all and finds himself locked in some laboratory on an island against his wishes. That plot line is something which did intrigue me somewhat but sadly its forgotten about for most of the running time as we switch over to a bachelor party in which the gang gatecrash the island for a bit of drugs and sex only to get infected and……well you can guess the rest……
Some minor sparkles of wit are found, “Baby you so wet!” is a wonderful oral sex gag that brought a smile on my face, and the gore is wonderful at times, but when the film oddly becomes like a zombie movie in some scenes, I quickly found my interest lacking somewhat! Overuse of slow mo irritates, while the plot itself offers many scenes that may have been written from a “how to write a horror movie cliche book“. Even the two story lines are an odd mix, on one hand a father uninfected trying to get home, the other a bunch of horny teens who, if they didn’t end up on the island, would have probably turned left and head for Camp Crystal Lake. I think I am right in saying that Astin in the only interesting thing on show and he is wasted!
The premise of Cabin Fever deserves much better than what it has been given but it seems like the Wrong Turn franchise, this is where we are now heading! The lashes of gore will make this a huge hit for fans and because of the awful standard of the first sequel, this will no doubt arrive with great reviews on the lines of “It’s back!” or “Finally a true sequel!”, when in reality its nothing more than a mediocre follow up to a great but not brilliant first film.