Cabin Fever 2

When a movie is essentially disowned by it's director it sends up huge red flags. When it's the sequel to one of the most revered independent horror films of the last decade and still can't find it's way to store shelves for two years after completing shooting, the film should come with a disclaimer before the film that reads : "Don't Watch This Film." Fortunately for "Cabin Fever 2", despite the warning signs, there are enough redeeming qualities for the average horrorphile to find the film a worthwhile watch.

The film picks up essentially where the last film left off. Rider Strong is stumbling down the road and he falls into the river. This time he gets out though, continuing his journey he meanders into the middle of the road where he is struck by a passing school bus. Deputy Winston, another Cabin Fever original, shows up to investigate the incident. Meanwhile Strongs' trip into the river has contaminated the towns bottled water supply just in time for the prom. What follows is exactly what you would expect from a Cabin Fever sequel set at the prom. The skin disease spreads through various means, mostly sexual or vomitorial. The faceless kids fight amongst themselves, fight the infected and fight the cops as they try to escape their impending doom. Deputy Winston attempts to curb the issue by attacking the problem at it's source - the bottled water company. Realizing he is too late, he decides to skip town with his cousin (Marc Bourchard of "American Movie" fame). As they leave the scene they pick up the "lone survivor" and drive off into the sunset. End picture....or not, and here is where the major issues start.

As a seventy-five minute sex filled, skin melting flick Cabin Fever 2 is effective. Then they tacked the stupid ending on. Apparently, this is the point where the very talented Ti West (House Of The Devil) decided enough is enough and attempted to have his name removed from the project. From my understanding everything up until this point was at least shot by West, if not edited to his liking. Even as a post credit add on, the offending piece of film wouldn't be so insulting, but it doesn't even feel like the same movie when it's on screen.

Cabin Fever 2 is better than is should be. The gore is fantastic. The direction is very good. The script is adequate (it's not funny, even though it tries really hard to be). The acting is what you would expect form a straight to DVD feature, although I was hoping for more from Guissepe Andrews, he was one of the highlights of the first film, but kind of feels shoe-horned in here. There are even some scenes, particularly the cauterizing scene, that really stand out when compared to similar films. Even the little animation scenes before and after the film are fun and well done. It's a shame that producer and studio intervention kept Ti West from making the film he wanted to make. Perhaps someday there will be a "directors cut" available somewhere, because there is enough good material here to give it another look should it be presented the way it was intended.

**1/2 stars out of *****

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