‘Cabin Fever: Patient Zero’ is a disjointed and convoluted addition to the eponymous horror series, which serves as a prime example of the horror film industry’s addiction with creating shoddy and unnecessary sequels.
This time around, the film centers on a group of friends taking a Bachelor party trip to a supposedly abandoned Caribbean island that turns out to actually be a research facility investigating a deadly flesh eating virus. Scientists have made the island a quarantined safe zone to study an individual they believe to be the original carrier of the pathogen. This patient zero is not happy living in captivity to be studied and sets out to expose the scientists to the disease. Meanwhile, blissfully unaware of the scientists or their research, the friends start to come down with a series of terrifying and life threatening symptoms during their stay on the island. It soon becomes apparent that the friends must find a way to survive before they all become victims to the terrifying disease.
The plot of the film is overly complex and often unnecessarily vague, making watching it more of a chore than it should be. While there are some fantastically gory and creative scenes they are not enough to save the movie as a whole. One scene in particular kicks up the disturbing meter to eleven, a feat usually reserved for more cerebral and better-written films (Lars Von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’ for example). Shock value only gets a movie so far, however, and this one puts all of its eggs in that basket.
There is very little about ‘Cabin Fever: Patient Zero’ that cries out to be watched. Its plot is unnecessarily complex and most of its twists fall flat. Much like the other entries in this series, the film suffers from an identity crisis between disease/contagion horror and gory slasher horror. The resulting movie just feels awkward and unbalanced.