The horror genre is so popular because during the film, it allows the audience to have some nail biting, scary escapism for a few hours and then they are returned safely to their own lives knowing that some crazy axe murderer or in the case of Cabin Fever, a flesh eating virus is going to run amok and destroy their cozy day to day living. However, when something becomes popular and an unexpected hit with the fans, people always want more, and so the franchise is born.
Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero, to give the film its full title, is the latest film to come under the Cabin Fever umbrella and I was sceptical to give a viewing, considering I am such a fan of the first movie. I have to say I hadn’t even considered watching the second one because I felt it couldn’t live up to the first. The reasoning behind me giving into this film is that it was marketed as a prequel and so I was curious as to how the story started.
First off let me just say in my opinion that this film is by no means an official prequel. It may carry the Cabin Fever title, yet it brings nothing to the story that was set out in the first film made by Eli Roth; that isn’t to say that it doesn’t work. It seems more like a companion piece to the franchise, but could quite easily be happening at the same time as the events in the first film or even be a sequel. The whole ‘patient zero’ part of the film is interesting, but it brings nothing else to the story; it just seems to bring in another element to the mythos in the films about how the virus affects everyone it comes into contact with.
The plot is two stories that concurrently to one another. The first follows the life of ‘patient zero’, played by Sean Astin, (oh, how times have changed since Lord of the Rings) and his time in quarantine, where doctors are trying to understand the virus and possibly create a vaccination and find a cure. Much like any doctor in a horror film, the main behind the facility has his own plans, but these don’t come to light until later on in the film. The second story line, focusses on three brothers and a female friend heading off to a secluded island to celebrate the eldest brother’s last night as a single man, before his wedding. As you can most probably expect, things don’t go to plan and soon the happy campers end up infected with the virus. As the film progresses, the two groups come into contact and the story then follows the both of them together as they realise the full impact that the viral pandemic will have on the world.
Cabin Fever 3 is by no means the most original film, but it was certainly better than I expected it to be. The effects are really rather well done and it is nice to see some practical effects still being used in horror these days. The overall tone is certainly reminiscent of the first film and the script, written by Jake Wade Wall, really tries to bring in some of the humour of the first. The cat fight involving the two infected girls towards the end is one the highlights of the film, and I have never seen someone beaten to death by a giant black dildo before. Kaare Andrews, certainly looks like he can handle horror directing well, and it will be interesting to see what his next project is going to be.