Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Cabin Fever


Starring: Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern and Jeff Hoffman
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 February 2010

A group of college kids rent a cabin in the woods, hoping to spend their time partying and telling each other horror stories, but their wilderness holiday soon turns to real horror when they encounter Henry, who they kill in an act of fear. This is, however, only the start of their problems as one by one they succumb to a deadly flesh eating virus...

Cabin Fever (2002 - 1 hr, 37 min, 48 sec) is a horror film directed and co written by Eli Roth (Hostel (2005)).

The film stars the usual inevitable walking dead meat with Paul (Rider Strong), Karen (Jordan Ladd), Bert (James DeBello), Marcy (Cerina Vincent), and Jeff (Joey Kern) all starting off as your regular kids spending time in a cabin in the middle of the woods - who really does that, doesn’t anyone in horror films actually watch horror films. What starts off like the usual kids in the wood being terrorised by the inbred locals soon finds the friends turning on each other.

What makes this film different is that the threat does not really come from the outside, but from the virus which they have unknowingly contracted. Mind you, the audience may have a hard time caring for the characters especially after they set fire to poor old Henry (Arie Verveen), who in the later stages of infection first tries to get help from the kids before trying to take their care so he can get to a hospital. Setting fire to the poor bloke was a little on the extreme side, even if he is missing most of his skin. If they are willing to do that to a stranger you’re left in no ignorance that they will be willing to do a lot worse to friends in order to survive.

The film is an eclectic mix of perfectly timed scares, gross out moments with more than a sprinkling of comedic scenes. This is a difficult act to pull off, but for the most part Roth pulls the whole thing together with some excellent direction. That’s not to say the film is without its faults, but many of these are minor. The script is witty and perfectly captures the feeling of the '80s slasher film. And, although unlikely to be Oscar worthy, the main cast are believable and engaging. On top of all that the effects in the film are effective and graphic - I really wouldn’t eat your tea watching this one.

The Blu-ray comes with optional Spanish and English subtitles and a full length audio commentary from Eli Roth, Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Cerina Vincent and Joey Kern. This is a new commentary created just for the Blu-ray, so as well as talking about the film, Roth is able to discuss the changes made and the film's reception.

Family Friendly Version (1 min, 13 sec) presented by Eli Roth which has the first minute of the film overlaid with cheesy music. There are five shorts from Roth, including Battle of the Bands (5 min, 27 sec), Snackster (3 min, 41 sec), Room Service (3 min, 18 sec), Episode 2 (2 min, 55 sec) and Episode 4 (3 min 02 sec). Each is an animated short which details the adventures of the best band in the world ‘Rotten Fruit’, obviously all the characters are fruit and the humour is decidedly adult. The shorts have a problem with the audio, which sounds as if some of it is missing.

Beneath the Skin: The Making of Cabin Fever (28 min, 57 sec) is more entertaining than most of these making of things. It will also tell you about the genesis of the film, with contributions from both cast and crew. Pancakes! (1 min, 46 sec) is some low quality film with a female martial artist working out to ‘Gay Bar’, there’s no explanation given so it is what it is, short and odd. Postcards from Bunyon County (2 min, 32 sec) is a presentation of static shots from the film and behind the scenes. The disc is wrapped up with the original theatrical trailer (1 min, 22 sec).

The film was an independent production, for which we read cheap to shoot, which always rings alarm bell when its transferred to Blu-ray, but whilst this 2.35:1 1080p AVC presentation is unlikely to become a reference disc it has a surprising depth of colour and clarity. If you liked Hostel you will definitely love this film, it turned out to be far more entertaining that I thought it would be.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£11.19 (
£10.99 (
£10.99 (
£10.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.