Is That Anything Like Pac-Man Fever? Cuz I Had That Once!
Main Cast: Noah Segan and Alexi Wasser
Director: Ti West
Cabin Fever in a high school. Remember the flesh-eating virus from the first movie? It’s now moved into the local high school during prom. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about the plot to Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever.
And while being helmed under the usually-respectful eye of Ti West (The House of the Devil), even he’s disowned this movie. Can you blame him?
I can see the impetus for a sequel to Eli Roth’s debut. The bones were there for a really interesting story. Instead it becomes just another teen slasher movie, only this time the masked killer is necrotizing fasciitis. And it is completely without depth of any kind.
The main characters are smart kid John (Noah Segan, “Days of Our Lives”) and his slobby friend Alex (Rusty Kelley, Jackrabbit), who are oddly enough not played by Michael Cerra and Jonah Hill. It’s prom night and Alex wants to go but John doesn’t because the only girl he wants to go with, lifelong friend Cassie (Alexi Wasser, “Agents of SHIELD”), is dating the high school popular rich kid and all-around bully Marc. In the end, John and Alex go anywhere and, because this is a horror movie with “cabin fever” in the title, the virus breaks out just as the CDC shows up with guns to lock everyone inside. John, Alex, and Cassie, meanwhile, are trying to stay one step ahead and get out of the school before bring either overtaken by the virus or gunned down by the CDC.
There’s your plot. The only other thing worth mentioning is the return of Deputy Winston from the first movie who discovers the source of the virus–a local bottled water company who gets their water from the infected lake or river or whatever body of water it was–and decides his best course of action would be to delete all trace of himself as an employee of the local police force and escape in a van with his buddy.
The problem with this movie is it’s got no heart. Sure, the gorehounds will eat it up, but at the end of the day, there’s just no substance here. The story is so minimal it barely exists, and the characters remain static throughout. Which isn’t hard because they never get a chance to develop; the movie’s over almost as quickly as it began.
I also find it hard to believe in any of the characters. Aside from our hero, John, every other teenager in this high school seems to lack even the slightest hint of morals or decency. And John is our hero only by default. But as for a three-dimensional person, no, he’s just another paper cut-out with a name and a face who gets the most time on screen. But don’t think for a second that, just because he’s our “hero”, that he tries to save the girl, that he’s bullied, that he’s the smartest boy in school and gets the best grades, that he’s actually any kind of “hero”. He’s just the only character in the movie with anything that resembles good intentions.
Back to the gore. There’s plenty of that here in spades, and most of it totally comes across as gratuitous. In fact, there were several times during this movie I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be watching a horror movie with a bunch of slapstick jokes thrown in, or a slapstick comedy that just happens to be super gross at the same time. I’ll tell you one thing, it wasn’t scary at all, at all.
While my opinion of the first movie may have changed from my first viewing to my second, I can’t say the same for this one. I originally saw it a few years ago, but only remembered it was set in a high school and that the gore was over the top. Any story details, though, were lost to the mists of time over the years. Having seen it again, now, I’m not sorry I didn’t remember anything about it the first time.
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was not made out of a deep love or admiration for the original movie. This movie was made as a cash grab. Myself, I only own it by pure chance; it’s on a DVD set with two other movies I actually DID want to see, and this was the only way I could get them cheap. But at least now I can also warn others against it.
It’s not the worst “horror” movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely one of the most unnecessary sequels I’ve ever endured. View it at your own risk and only when you’ve REALLY got some time to kill and absolutely NOTHING better to do with it.