Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2008)

An alright, but deeply flawed sequel to Eli Roth's dastardly original that keeps a high school prom full of people in an infected area. The intro, like the one in Hostel Part II, fills in the details as to the fate of the previous films protaganist (let's just say Rider Strong does not deserve really top billing), and then we meet our real protagonist, a high schooler with a crush on his lifelong friend and a Clark Duke acting-and-looking sidekick, who is admittedly a fairly funny character. The evil water that capped the kids in the first one is bottled and shipped out to a local high school about to have its senior prom (don't drink the punch!!). It's not the freshest material I've ever seen, but director Ti West, following up his phenomenal House of the Devil, turns this for-hire gig into a showcase for some hilarious visuals and surprisingly straight moments; it's never achieves the same level of utter claustrophobic terror the first one did, but it is significantly better than your average DTV horror sequel (the From Dusk Till Dawn ones remain the best). One of the better choices in the film was to give the deputy character, played by Giuseppe Andrews, more of a presence throughout, and he has several terrific hick-humor scenes with some hilarious people (including Mark Borchardt!). It's really the abrupt, and terribly out of place, ending that sinks the movie; I believe Ti West was fired at some point for some reason, and it shows in the way the film quickly wraps things up and then has a pointless epilogue that seems to just be there to kill time. It hurts, because up until that point the film was in the makings to be a fairly legit sequel, taking the original's set up into a fresh direction, instead of basically a really cool Masters of Horror episode (which I think Ti West is more than capable of). I am definitely still very impressed by his handling of tension and gore, and his next film, with more creative control, will hopefully be more sure of itself and original.

Slightly Recommended to fans of the original and predictable, but fun horror films; this is not as good as Feast, a somewhat similar film I've reviewed recently, or the original, but it has enough original touches and over-the-top gore visuals to make it fairly fun for horror buffs.

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