Cabin Fever was obviously an attempt to emulate the early 80's horror cult classic Evil Dead. The problem is that Evil Dead was a genuinely scary movie for it's time and has only become a cheesy cult classic since. Cabin Fever feels like it's setting out to be a cheesy cult classic from day one, and doesn't really work.
Five teenagers head out into the middle of the woods to stay in an isolated cabin. Sound familiar? It sure looks familiar. Everything from the woods to the tool shed and, of course, the cabin itself, look like they've been dusted off from the old Evil Dead set. Once there, a nasty virus/disease is let loose amongst the happy campers by a strange man that stumbles across their cabin.
The biggest problem with Cabin Fever is that it is never really scary and never terribly funny. Contrivances are stacked on top of contrivances to keep the campers stuck at the cabin while the virus threatens to kill them all, but it’s all to no avail. Incidental characters drop in and out undermining any tension that may have been created by the campers isolation, and the virus itself is a fairly innocuous threat in horror movie terms. To make this ineffective horror movie even less effective it’s ending is positively up-beat and really lacks that final punch that is the staple of so many successful horror movies.