Review: CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO

CABIN-FEVER_PZ_THEATRICAL

It used to be when a sequel to a successful genre film went the somewhat direct to video route, that it was a taboo of sorts, a signifying mark of it not being such a great film. It was definitely easy to feel that way, given so many sequels that didn’t quite offer anything to offer horror fans, aside from a familiar name. While that stigma has somewhat (if not completely) faded away with how wildly successful genre films have become with only a small limited theatrical release, followed by Redbox, iTunes and DVD, films like Kaare Andrew’s CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO helps further eradicate the undeserved labels that were once instantly placed on similarly marketed films, making up for a flawed (and greatly tampered with) second film in the series, with providing a fun and entertaining time.

While the story of a group of young adults partying and ending up knee deep in trouble is nothing to write home about to proclaim “this is original”, where PATIENT ZERO succeeds, is at its knowledge of what kind of film it is and who the film caters to: horror fans wanting a LOT of blood and gore, with some suspense and a hearty amount of story tossed in for good measure. Dealing with dual (at first) storylines, the film follows both a man (played very effectively by THE GOONIES & THE LORD OF THE RINGS star Sean Astin) imprisoned and quarantined for carrying a virus by doctors and researchers, as well as a group of young adults attending a vacation in the caribbean to throw one hell of a bachelor party, PATIENT ZERO starts strong, and never really loses its momentum.

While the story itself bears little to no resemblance to the original Eli Roth-helmed film CABIN FEVER, PATIENT ZERO is a film that is directed and played out with such precision that the completely different approach to the series is not only serviceable, but highly welcomed. As both stories play out, and the flesh eating virus is slowly unleashed upon the partiers AND inside of the facility holding Astin’s character, fans are giving some absolutely video-nasty level practical makeup fx that pushes the film to not only a fun and entertaining horror entry, but something with a horrifying amount of staying power. Is it perfect? No, some of the acting is “eh” at times, but everyone does good enough jobs (especially Astin, who is quite the intense guy in this one) to keep viewers on board until the end. It’s a film that as time goes on, you ask yourself if things will work out for the group, and whether eventually their paths will cross with the quarantined facility, leading to one gruesome climax.

If viewers are looking for BEN HUR, look elsewhere, but as the talented director Andrews proves, CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO  is a horror film made for horror fans not wanting a very serious social statement or sprawling epic, but something fun, extremely bloody and full of promise, with the film has in spades. Definitely worth a watch.

AVAILABLE ON VOD: Now.
AVAILABLE IN THEATERS: August 1, 2014
AVAILABLE ON ITUNES: August 1, 2014
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