Remakes have been part of the horror genre from the earliest days, when endless revisions of Dracula and Frankenstein cycled through theaters on a regular basis. The 80s and 90s “boom years” for the horror genre were especially loaded with do-overs, as everything from The Blob to The Thing to Night of The Living Dead to Invaders From Mars got slick remakes with upgraded special effects; and while fans of the originals often cried foul in several instances (John Carpenter’s The Thing, most notably) the new version turned out better than the original. But whereas those remakes happened several decades after the fact, the acceptable length of time required to start a series over has been shrinking ever since.
Case in point: Here’s the new trailer for Cabin Fever, the remake of a popular horror film from all the way back in 2002.
Ready to feel old? It’s been 14 whole years since Eli Roth first burst on the scene with the low-budget horror hit Cabin Fever, which wowed jaded gore fans with its relentlessly grim (but also darkly humorous) mash-up of body-horror and “dead teenagers in the woods” tropes. The film, which propelled Roth to instant stardom in the horror community and drew praise from genre professionals like Quentin Tarantino and Peter Jackson. The latter even shut down production of his then-shooting Lord of The Rings films in order to screen it for his crew and blessed Roth with a pull-quote that became synonymous with the film’s marketing: “Brilliant! Fantastic! Horror fans have been waiting years for a movie like ‘Cabin Fever.’ I loved it!”
The new film has been produced by Roth, supposedly utilizing that same screenplay as the first film, but moving the action from the deep woods to a lakeside cabin in the Pacific Northwest. As with the original, the plot involves a group of teenagers who trek to the titular cabin for a weekend of sex and drinking, but instead become infected by a flesh-eating virus that has begun to consume the area. Fans of the original will also likely recognize a new analogue to the kung-fu kicking “Pancakes!” kid from the original, here sporting a creepy paper bunny mask.
Roth famously wrote the original film in 1995 while a student at NYU, but found himself for years unable to sell it to studios, who at the time were unwilling to take a chance on any horror films that didn’t follow the self-aware teenage-melodrama angle of the then-popular Scream franchise. While the original film was popular with horror fans and some critics, many also raised concerns about the script’s mean-spirited nature and unsympathetic treatment of its female characters — criticisms that have followed Roth through much of his career (particularly regarding the two Hostel films.) A pair of sequels, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever and Cabin Fever: Patient Zero were later produced by other filmmakers without Roth’s direct involvement.
Whether or not audiences are hungry for a fresh take on the still fairly recent and well-known film remains unclear. While he remains a popular figure among horror fans, the mixed reception for Roth’s more recent efforts, like the cannibal social-satire The Green Inferno and the erotic thriller Knock Knock, has not resulted in the kind of raised profile Cabin Fever and Hostel once did. While a remake of the similarly cabin-centric Evil Dead was a box-office hit in 2013, that franchise had been buoyed for years by a fiercely devoted fanbase and its own pair of even more popular sequels. Cabin Fever, by contrast, will likely be expected to sink or swim strictly on its own merits.
Cabin Fever hits digital HD and select NY/LA theaters on February 12, 2016.
Source: Bloody Disgusting
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