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Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
Cabin Fever
> Cabin Fever (2002)
> Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)
Genres:
Horror, Horror Comedy, Teen Horror
Director:
Ti West Ti West
Starring:
Rider Strong Rider Strong
Noah Segan Noah Segan
Alexi Wasser Alexi Wasser
Rusty Kelley Rusty Kelley
Marc Senter Marc Senter

4.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: March 01, 2010
I have to admit that I had low expectations for Cabin Fever 2, but being a big fan of the original, there was no way that I could skip the sequel. Regardless of my feelings for that first movie, the signs that this was going to be a colossal disappointment were all there. For starters, the film was directed by Ti West, the man you may know for his work on the brilliant House of the Devil... and he completely disowned it. When the man who made the movie wants nothing to do with it, that's usually a bad sign. Granted, his qualms came about over studio interference and additional footage that was shot and inserted into the film without his knowledge, but the bottom line is that he wanted his name taken off of the final product. If that's not enough of a warning, how about the fact that it sat in the Lions Gate vaults for close to three years before finally being pushed out as a direct to video release? So, Cabin Fever 2 is a movie that the director wants nothing to do with and the studio had no faith in... it had to be horrible, right? Well, no, not at all.

If you've seen the first movie, then you know all about the flesh-eating virus that is running rampant, and this one picks up with an infected guy running through the woods... and more importantly, through a river. As it turns out, this river is connected to the processing facility of a popular bottled water factory, and thus, the virus makes its way into countless bottles of water. A shipment of that water is sent over to the local high school on prom day, and we have ourselves an epidemic in the making...

...but before we get into that, we're introduced to our heroes for the evening. John (Noah Segan) and Alex (Rusty Kelley) are best friends who are gearing up for the big night, with Alex trying to convince John to ask out Cassie (Alexi Wasser), the school hottie who has recently broken up with the school bully. We witness a bit of teen drama mixed with eighties-style high school hijinks, and when the big night finally arrives, well... let's just say that when everyone is at the prom, there will definitely be blood on the dance floor.

Haters be damned, I'm just going to come right out and say it: I enjoyed the movie. I didn't love it, it's not better than the original, and I won't be placing it in my "best of" list come December, but I have to admit that I had a huge smile on my face throughout the majority of the running time. With the exception of the ending (more on that in a moment), there really wasn't anything about the movie that I didn't like. The chemistry between the two friends was definitely there and the acting was perfectly acceptable, and as a result, the "teen drama / comedy" chunk of the film was enjoyable. I was expecting to impatiently await the arrival of the red stuff, but surprisingly, I enjoyed this first act of the film as much as the final gorefest.

With that out of the way, we move on to the section that most of you probably paid to see: the blood, the gore, and the nastiness. This is delivered in spades, with some scenes easily outdoing the grisly imagery that Eli Roth cooked up in his film. One scene in particular seemed to take inspiration from the puking scene found in Stand by Me, only, with blood and pus replacing the puke. Gorehounds will find a lot to love here, but make sure that you pick up the unrated cut of the film, or else you will miss the absolutely disgusting penis scene.

Now, about that ending. The film proper ends out of nowhere, and it truly felt like the last ten minutes of the "real" movie were missing. There isn't much in the way of closure, although this scene does set things up nicely for another sequel down the road. I would have been alright with this, but then comes the strip club scene that Mr. West objected to. Granted, this scene does feature an actress that appeared in the movie, but beyond that, it's completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and felt totally out of place. I'm not sure whether it was inserted to stroke the egos of the producers or to pad out the slim running time, but whatever the reason, it really shouldn't have made the final cut.

Other than that final scene and an anti-climatic ending to the "real" movie, I'm going to have to give this one the thumbs up. It features likable characters, it has some humorous moments that work rather well, and of course, it delivers plenty of over-the-top gore that will send the gorehounds home happy. Also, Giuseppe Andrews returns as the wisecracking deputy from the first movie, and though his appearance isn't exactly vital to the big picture that is the storyline (all of his scenes could have been cut and it wouldn't have impacted the story in the slightest), I will say that I enjoyed watching him in action. Overall, Cabin Fever 2 is definitely worth a viewing if you're a fan of splatter flicks: it's not a smart horror movie and it's not a classic, but it's definitely a fun night in front of the tube. 8/10.
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