Fourteen years ago Eli Roth burst onto the horror scene with the gory, darkly funny and memorable Cabin Fever. Since then the quality of his conbtributions to the horror community have been extremely varied but there is little doubt that this first entry is a shining star in a time period that was particularly depressing for horror. So it seems fitting in light of the backlash that he's gotten over the last few years that he is returning to produce what once made him one of our most promising young stars. In this version he has handed the directorial rights to Travis Zariwny who also has the home invasion flick Intruder on the docket.
Immediately it's evident that this trailer is a very faithful remake of the original in terms of gore and plot. It begins with our group of teenagers en route to the titular cabin discussing their seclusion and intended sex and drinking exploits. We then quickly move through a montage of pant removal, swimming, making out, and exact beat for beat replays of some of the most memorable scenes from the original. including blood spraying, open wounds and the iconic bathtub scene that fans of the original are already wincing in anticpation of seeing.
A lot of this seems incredibly repetitive since the original is such a unique entry. That's not to say that that is entirely a bad thing, there are plenty of mainstream fans who have yet to be introduced to this world. Especially when you take into account a glaring omission from this trailer which is the goofy humor that pervades the 2002 version. Is it possible that what we are going to see a much more serious verison? If that's the case, this will be a radically different film from the original and all of the noise about how pointless this remake is may instantly go quiet. Because as great as the original is, there is still plenty of meat on the bone if you want to make a deadly serious flesh eating virus movie.
Perhaps this is a good sign for Eli Roth, because this film urgently needs to be different than the original. Even if he is not signed on as a director, this is still a big indication as to where the rest of his career is going. Eli Roth never seems to have considered himself a horror director per-se. Instead he has fashioned himself as a sort of horror personality, the type of person that can be a boon to new and upcoming directors; a voice for the genre, more a latter career Speilberg of our macabre community than a Kubrick. And, that in practice is a wonderful thing, except that hasn't exactly panned out for him as of late, Mr. Roth has unforunately done more talking than quality producing and as a result his brand has started to suffer. That's why this film desperately needs to show us that he is able to strike a new, meaninful path for himself in the horror genre.
Otherwise, he may be just trying to relive past glories in light of his recent failures, and that is not a good sign for any artist.