Sunday, 17 August 2014

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

For anyone interested, here is my review of Cabin Fever, and here is my review of Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. And now . . . . . . we return to our main programmed event.

Let's face it, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is a movie that shouldn't really exist. The first Cabin Fever movie is fantastic (despite me taking a while to warm to it), but it didn't exactly cry out for sequels. When Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever was released, I think there was more talk of the studio interference and problems that director Ti West had than an overwhelming love for the movie. And, on a side note, kudos to West for still visiting some screenings and pragmatically dealing with the end result.

Anyway, now we have a third movie, with the potential for more (I guess). Sean Astin plays the patient zero of the title, a man who is imprisoned, in a medical facility that's located on a fairly isolated island, and forced to try and help find a cure for the deadly disease that viewers of the previous two movies will already be familiar with. Astin doesn't want to be helpful. In fact, he wants to cause some problems. Which makes everything exceedingly dangerous when Marcus (Mitch Ryan) and friends land on the island, aiming to party and celebrate before Marcus gets married. It's not long until people start acting a bit rash.

Written by Jake Wade Wall and directed by Kaare Andrews, this is very standard sequel stuff. It's supposed to be a prequel, but I must confess my ignorance in not being able to see anything that would really pinpoint the timing of this particular instalment in comparison to the other movies. I may have missed a detail or two, but I suspect that this has been classed as a prequel due to the folk making it thinking that they're being clever. Because that's what I felt as the end credits rolled, with some other footage running throughout. This is a film with a script that is desperate to appear cool and clever, despite the fact that it isn't. Andrews tries to work with it, and at least remembers to include some great gore gags in the second half, but nothing ties together as it should.

The cast here is a real mixed bag. For the group arriving on the island, Mitch Ryan is okay, I guess, but he just feels a bit too bland to be a leading man. Thankfully, both Brando Eaton and Ryan Donowho match him in terms of just being a bit too unmemorable, although nobody is awful. Jillian Murray IS memorable, for a variety of reasons, and she gets a lot of great scenes. Elsewhere, Currie Graham is the cold doctor dealing with Astin, while Solly Duran and Lydia Hearst are the two main lab assistants also caught in the crisis zone when things start to turn sour.

There are some great special effects, courtesy of Vincent J. Guastani and his team, some fun moments in which selfishness is punished (of course), and one or two good ideas in the mix, but that undeserved sense of cockiness brings it back down a notch or two. As does the lack of any effective black humour.

Worth a watch, and even worth picking up if you can get it at a good price, but it's the weakest of the three.


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