When this movie is under discussion, people tend to argue about how scary or not scary it is, as it is labeled a “horror movie”. I think, if a label is so desperately needed, we can call it a gore/comedy, even if there are not enough funny moments to call it so.
Apart from being one of the latest films in the school of “a-group-of-youngsters-go-to-a-cabin-in-the-woods-and-die”, it also belongs to another tradition, which started with H. G. Lewis’s 2000 Maniacs!, a movie depicting how a group of “yankees” are butchered by the inhabitants of a southern town in America. The fear against southerners has long disturbed the northern psyche in the United States, who in return employed this fear to make similar blood red movies. Going to one of those towns meant that you might be chainsawed, eaten or at best hung on a butcher’s hook alive.
Cabin Fever has a convention breaking function. Eli Roth plays with the preconceptions and prejudices of both the characters and the audience. The old guy in the ‘yokel’ shop and Deputy Winston are characters who turn all expectations upside down. The leg shaving scene, the guy who swallows a harmonica and the finale are among the highlights of the movie. Plus all the blood-puking, and devoured flesh you grindcore/gore fans out there need!
From Sonic Splendour #4