A group of friends decide to party on a beautiful island, unaware of the fact that a research facility that is trying to cure a deadly flesh-eating virus is there as well. Before they know it a couple of them are infected and the others struggle to escape with their lives.
Prequels can be tricky things. Some are quite awesome while others tend to suck out loud (I’m talking to you, Star Wars Episodes I-III). Cabin Fever: Patient Zero falls somewhere in the middle. It isn’t the greatest thing that I’ve seen lately but at the same time it isn’t really anything to write home about either. After all was said and done I have to say that while it was enjoyable at times it isn’t a film that I will most likely be watching again anytime soon.
On paper it sounds like a great idea. Since we have no clue where the virus from the first two movies came from I was excited about the possibility of the prequel shedding a little more light on where and how it originated. Unfortunately we really don’t get an answer to either question. Yes, we have poor old Sean Astin locked in a plexiglass cage for most of the movie and being experimented on since he is the first person to have the virus but we never really find out where or how he got it (or why he is just a carrier for it). I was just hoping to find out a little more about the virus itself with this installment but it wasn’t meant to be. I get that it makes it a little creepier and everything that we know as little as possible about it but I was hoping to at least get a clue about its origins. Hopefully if there is another film (which I seriously doubt to be honest) we’ll finally get the entire scoop on the virus.
I thought that the movie moved a little too slow for my tastes as well. Most of the first part of the movie is made up of scenes of Astin being poked and prodded in the research facility while he threatens to infect the people working there intercut with the four main characters dicking around on the same island smoking pot and doing other things not really worth mentioning. It took a while for things to get going and once they do even those scenes are pretty boring too. I know that the other films in the series aren’t exactly action-packed and they have slow builds as well but it was really bad this time around to the point that I almost skipped ahead a couple of times. Up until the last half hour or so I was feeling pretty bored while I was watching it and I just felt like there should have been a lot more going on earlier on to keep things interesting. On top of that it had the whole “been there, done that” feel to it and there was nothing really special or different from this film that set it apart from the two others.
On the other hand I did enjoy all the gore that this film offers. We get some good old fashioned bloody and nasty fun here and I enjoyed it. Highlights include some really gross oral sex (complete with a face full of blood), a catfight between 2 very messed up and gross-looking chicks that features them pulling pieces of rotting flesh off of each other, a head smashed open with a giant dildo, a hatchet to the face, and all the other fun rotting flesh moments usually associated with the Cabin Fever. While I think this one has less gore and gross out moments than the others there are still some pretty cool and disgusting bits to be found here and there and if gore is your thing you won’t be too disappointed.
I also liked most of the characters as well for the most part. The four friends that make up the main group are less douche baggy as usual and I actually dug them. I don’t think we are supposed to really like Josh (Brando Eaton) and he is a little annoying at times but for some reason I found myself rooting for him, especially toward the end when he shows that he really cares about his girlfriend’s well-being (to be honest I thought he was a little pitiful later in the film and I felt bad for what ends up happening to him). Speaking of feeling bad for people, Porter (Astin) is a pretty sympathetic character (up until the end when he does something pretty shitty to some of the other characters) thanks to everything he is forced to go through and I couldn’t help feel for him as well. I also liked Penny (played by the always awesome and fun to look at Jillian Murray) and thought that Mitch Ryan was good in the role of Marcus. Overall I thought that this film had some great characters and that the acting was pretty damn good.
All in all Cabin Fever: Patient Zero isn’t a bad film, but I don’t think that it is one of those that I could watch over and over again. If you liked the other two then chances are pretty good that you will like this one as well. If you aren’t a fan of the others then you might want to skip this one. Check it out if you have nothing better to do are a fan of gross out horror as you could do a lot worse.