Just because Halloween is over it doesn't mean that the horror news outflow is going to end anytime soon for one of the industry's most profitable genres. Though this piece of news is either a trick or a treat depending on how you feel about the "Cabin Fever" franchise.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that U.S. and Dominican Republic based production company The Indomina Group are set to resurrect the "Cabin Fever" name for two prequels entitled "Cabin Fever: Patient Zero" and "Cabin Fever: Outbreak." "The Hitcher" remake scribe Jake Wade Wall will be penning the script for the former 'Patient Zero,' while the writing pair of Adam and Deborah Marcus will be behind 'Outbreak,' with both films expected to shoot back-to-back this spring.
With original "Cabin Fever" production company Hypotenuse Pictures and Indomina Group's Vice Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann pulling production duties, the films will follow the events leading up to the spread of the flesh-eating virus at the beginning of the 2002 original. Set aboard a disastrous cruise through the Caribbean, 'Patient Zero' will focus on the survivors of a ship that collides with a research vessel carrying the virus. 'Outbreak' appears as if it'll pick up from there, when a doctor and his family travel to a Caribbean island and come in contact with the virus, they decide to take it upon themselves to try and rid the world of this potentially harmful epidemic.
So if you had a hard time reading through those plot synopsizes, don't worry because we're right there with you (and thanks for even reading this far down). The truth is this just sounds like a direct-to-DVD vehicle that'll probably be picking up dust in the $5 bin at your local Wal-Mart come next Halloween. Singh Mann tells the trade, “We are committing to two new 'Cabin Fever' films because there is a real demand from a devout fanbase – not just 'Cabin Fever' die-hards but a large and vocal group of horror fans around the world." Though we interpret that as a guy who sees a beloved horror title, and is looking to make a few bucks out of it, but that's the way these things work.
A name curiously missing from this bit of news is original "Cabin Fever" writer/director Eli Roth, whose name was also absent from the recently announced sequel to "The Last Exorcism," where Roth's name was slathered all over that film's promotion materials upon its release. Anyways, Roth's first film isn't a masterpiece, but it certainly is a fun little horror film that plays out like Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" with a hint of Sam Raimi and David Lynch thrown in for good measure. Not to say Roth is as accomplished as any of those helmers, but his film was a cut above most genre fare, and will mostly likely have higher production values than what sounds like two quickie prequels. Also worth mentioning is that much buzzed about horror auteur Ti West took a crack at the series with "Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever," and it's quite simply an unwatchable film. Curiously enough though, original "Cabin Fever" producers served on that film to, and West is pretty open about the way they pried the film from his hands and reedited it into direct-to-DVD fluff. So perhaps just because you have some of the original team on board, doesn't mean that's always a good thing.