Saturday, 14 July 2012

DVD Reviews: House of the Devil/Cabin Fever 2

Not so much reviews as comments, to be honest.

House of the Devil/Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever – A Ti West Too Much?
Whilst the movie was far from perfect, I enjoyed Ti West’s movie “The Roost”. It was a different take on the zombie drama at a time when low budget living dead movies were being churned out as quickly as Katie Price churns out publicity grabbing anecdotes.
House of the Devil appears to be garnering high praise for its ability to emulate 80s style horror movies and I have to ask why? Nothing much happens in the movie. Yes, stylistically, it has a great retro feel to it, but that’s no good if the plot is paper thin and the pacing laborious. Some of the build up is interesting but my patience wore thin after an hour. The conversation between Tom Noonan’s Mr Ulman and Jocelyn Donahue’s Samantha is stilted and unbelievable, when it should be far more tense. After the film ended I felt like I had watched 90 minutes of a girl wandering around a house. There are admirable attempts at referencing Hitchcock and Argento. The tension that is created by the question of wether or not the woman is actually in the house as Samantha wanders around is quite palpable and then ruined by the truly awful, badly thought out scene with the Walkman.
If House of the Devil failed to meet my expectations, Cabin Fever 2 was something else entirely. I liked Eli Roth’s original Cabin Fever. It didn’t know quite what film it was (serious gross out movie or horror comedy) but I liked the humour and the grisly nature of the gore. The sequel is horrendous.
Ti West has gone on record to say that he wanted to distance himself from the movie and blames other people for it. Well guess what? There is nothing redeeming about this piece of crap. I was suckered at the beginning by the return of Rider Strong and some genuinely cool camera angles, and then it all went to shit. I doubt that this was just caused by interventions and studio tampering.
The “story” follows the first film where water has been contaminated by the flesh-eating virus and shipped out in bottles. A nearby school is getting ready for prom night and the kids begin to feel the effects of the virus. There are attempts at a horror version of American Pie-style humour but it never works. If you get kicks out of watching a guy’s penis emitting pus and a stripper revealing pus marked breasts, then this is for you.
The side story with the first film’s Deputy Sheriff seems out of place, as if it belonged to outtakes from Cabin Fever 1.
The Director of these two movies, as bi-polar as they are, has a great horror movie to come, I hope. The Roost and elements of House of the Devil point in that direction. For horror gross-out comedy, look to the movie Wrong Turn 2: That film delivers.

No comments: