The Occasional Failure of Rotten Tomatoes

Warning: There are some spoilers here. But if you have any faith in what I’m saying, believe me when I say that I’m saving you $8.50. There’s also a lot of swearing in capital letters.

Over the past few years, I’ve been happy to see the rise of Rotten Tomatoes as a quality site for judging the general worth of movies. Using a system of average reviews from critics, it is generally very good about letting you know about what’s good and what’s crap.

The site only fails to correctly gauge a movie when the collective critics of the world all smoke up at the exact same instant, and somehow give the worst movie in history an overall positive rating.

Today is one of those days. Behold, Cabin Fever. Seemingly good reviews, right?

Only when the summer movie field has been THIS shitty is a movie like this considered good, or even remotely good. Let’s tick through what’s wrong here:

The gore is nothing special. It’s a flesh-eating virus, so there’s lots of blood coughing and bloody peeling flesh and all of that. It’s all so run of the mill, that you’ll just block it out.

The characters are about as deep as a kiddie pool. You’ve got the Paranoid Blonde Guy. Of course, he’s fucking the Horny Chick. On the other side, you’ve got the Sensitive Main Character who is in love with The Girl He’s Known For Ages Who Seems Disinterested And Of Course Gets Sick First. Oh, and who could forget The Irreverent Frat Guy, who goes out to hunt squirrels because “they’re gay”? Besides that, there’s such a wide cast of side characters! Like…the Stoner Guy From California (cameo by the director)! And the Funny Young Cop Who Parties! And the Redneck Entire Town!
Not only are all the characters ridiculously shallow, but the interaction between them is laughable. The aforementioned Sensitive Main Character and His Crush have a conversation as they’re walking to the lake. He’s trying his best to pour his heart out to her, and she just ignores him and races him to the lake. Okay, so that’s fine – but not 2 minutes later, she’s kissing him. And then she’s ignoring him again. What a great love story for our time.

Some of the movie is just bizarre and/or unexplainable. The kids stop at a general store. You just know hilarity is going to ensue, right? Not this time. There’s a silent blonde kid on the swing on the front porch. The Irreverent Frat Guy sits next to him, tells him to “putterthere”, and the kid bites his hand. This is all you get in terms of the kid until much later (see below).

Later, they go inside where there’s this crazy old guy behind the counter. When they ask what the rifle is for, Crazy Old Guy says “That’s for the niggers.”, and the audience all went “Huh? Ha ha…wait, what? That’s not funny.” Again, this just hangs over the movie until the end of the film (see below).

There’s a long story about some psycho killer at a bowling alley that amounts to nothing. There’s a house that is empty the first time the kids go to it, and then later there’s a naked woman on the bed – of course, her husband comes outside, threatens a kid with a shotgun, and then disappears into No More Scenes Land. There’s a redneck that has to get “the kit” and is killed right before he opens it. What’s the kit for? FUCK YOU IF YOU THINK YOU GET TO FIND OUT. Oh, and while one of the kids is in the hospital, he sees a doctor dressed in a bunny suit. WOW THANKS THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING.

There’s a lot of retarded jokes and pay-offs. Remember the blonde kid on the swing? Well, later in the movie, the guy who’s hand he bit returns to the general store. The guy is yelling for help (since by this point they NEED A DOCTOR), and you see the kid. Sudddenly, the kid yells…

“PANCAKESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!”

And jumps off the bench in slow motion.

The kid then begins doing kung fu jump kicks and flips and all this ridiculous shit in SLOW MOTION, like I’m back watching Charlie’s Angels again, while we get intercut shots of Irreverent Frat Guy’s face reading “What the fuck?”, which accurately reflects the entire audience. The kid does a front roundoff flip and then…

…bites the guy on the hand again. More retarded than a short bus on its way to school. More brainless than an Ithaca College frat on a Saturday night.

Oh, but that’s not all, folks! The crazy old man earlier, the one who talked about his rifle? Last shot of the movie – you see three black guys walking up to the general store. The old guy goes back inside and begins to grab the rifle as they enter the store, and…

…he hands the rifle to them, pulling the age old Allegedly Funny Joke of Old White Guy Uses Black Slang. “Yo, I cleaned that for you and everything, look how that shines – oh WHAT UP MY NIGGA!” Giving them convoluted high fives and everything.

The movie, like every other horror movie I’ve seen over the past year, isn’t scary, isn’t suspenseful, and isn’t terrifying. Worse, all the reviews make this out to be some great homage to classic horror movies – bullshit. This is more like an amalgamation of all the really shitty ones that have come out over the past 5 years. The only worthwhile part is that Angelo Badalamenti did the score, and even he can’t pull this out from being drek.

I heard someone, a few rows in front of me, say about 30 minutes in “Boy, this movie is really gay” – which was amusing given how many times the word “gay” had been used to describe something characters didn’t like in the movie. (When asking if this “a date” with his crush, the quasi-main character was told “Don’t be gay!”)

So I happily name this The Worst Movie I’ve Seen Thus Far In 2003. Stay as far away from this as you possibly can.

  • Tre$$

    It’s movies like this that explain why I haven’t stepped foot into a movie theater in 3 years.

  • Must-see.

  • Tre$$

    It’s movies like this that explain why I haven’t stepped foot into a movie theater in 3 years.