If you want a fun, gross-out horror excursion that pulls no punches and works hard to get the cringe-factor up while maintaining a crooked sense of humor, Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever is your film. If you want a moody, tense thriller that almost works, you could try the mostly enjoyable The House of the Devil from Ti West. However, if you were hoping that West’s long-delayed sequel to Roth’s gore fest was going to be the best of both worlds, well, here’s some bad news: Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever may be one of the worst films released on DVD this year.
West’s film, or what would have been his, ended when the director walked away from the project, and the studio apparently attempted to bandage together something akin to a movie. It does start with credits, tell a “story”, and end with credits. But that’s as much leeway as it deserves.
Beginning with an annoying animated credit sequence that spells out the results of the original film, we are treated to a splash of nauseating grue as CF2:SF rolls out a busload of unlikeable people in sloppily-shot, dull situations perforated by gouts of pus and blood. There are perhaps more secretions of tainted bodily fluids on display here than in any other film in the history of such things, and to be clear: every orifice is put to use.
What serves as a plot: Down Home Water bottling company is shipping virus-tinged product out to various locations, including the local High School where the prom is about to take place. As the characters abuse and ignore each other, we’re given a pretty clear idea of who’s going to survive the story, as the film makes it clear that anyone drinking the water or coming into contact with an infected person will soon be dead. But even this little bit of logic fails.
The slacker cop from the first film, who seemed to be in on the bad business, now appears to be a hapless goof who just wants to slink out of town. Even when the prom night activities are surrounded by covert-ops types who wear gas masks and plastic onesies, no mood, tension or scares are ever created. Just an unpleasant, vile, squishy excuse for a horror film. It’s really a cheap, stupid thing.
An epilogue in a strip club doesn’t add to the festivities in any way, and a protracted closing animation makes it clear that the studio heads didn’t know how to wrap up all the loose ends, and couldn’t be bothered to either pay for re-shoots or scrap the project altogether.
An embarrassment in every way, CF2: SF actually makes you long for mediocre work by better filmmakers.