I remember the release of Cabin Fever on DVD quite vividly all the way back in 2007. It was the first ever refund that was requested by a customer! He was quite passionate about it too, going into extreme detail about how I had conned him out of the princely sum of £2.50 and how the film was such a poor production. Needless to say he didn’t get his money back, but this example does highlight just how contentious the ‘greatness’ of Cabin Fever is. I must admit I’m a fan, and (keep it to yourself) but I like the sequel that was predominantly directed by Ti West before being replaced, I thought it had some great ideas.
Well here we are for the second sequel, and from the outset it bodes well with a good directorial appointment in Kaare Andrews who shot the guilty pleasure Altitude and the ‘V’ segment from ABCs of Death. We begin in a research lab where the medical staff have managed to locate ‘Patient Zero’ – Porter (Sean Astin). Dr. Edwards (Currie Graham) informs Porter that his son has been killed by the virus and that he has the opportunity to do ‘something special’, as he carries the virus yet shows no visible symptoms.
Meanwhile, in a plotline that runs separately for the majority of the film, a group of friends are enjoying a bachelor cruise in the Caribbean. Needless to say, after a short period of time they stumble across a secluded island and can’t fight the urge to take the dinghy ashore to set up camp for the night. As they get comfortable for their evening in an island paradise, they begin to notice some things aren’t right. For example, as they scuba dive off the shore they notice that underwater all the fish are dead and the sea bed is littered with body parts. Not only that, but one of the group has cut themselves in this seemingly toxic environment and the symptoms are beginning to make themselves known…
One of the most impressive aspects of Cabin Fever 3 is the way it manages to run two storylines separately, then blend them in the final third to give the film a tense, gruesome and well-plotted ending. So often other films attempt a similar scenario but come unstuck with the two threads being just too different to provide a plausible combined ending. Admittedly ‘plausible’ isn’t exactly the word you would use when describing any of the Cabin Fever movies, but that said they do provide a skin-melting guilty pleasure.
This second sequel is definitely a welcome addition to the franchise, and with the use of a proficient director as well as a decent cast (Sean Astin looking like a Zach Galifianakis clone!) it certainly approached the task in hand with a level of intelligence. The gore level is high and the make-up effects are well executed, including a vomit inducing scene of oral sex! Overall this film comes recommended along with a nod of praise for its attempt to tackle this sequel from an original perspective. In a genre where second and third incarnations are frequently phoned in retreads of the originals, Cabin Fever 3 is a welcome surprise.