The hazards of going from child actor to adult actor are legion. It’s one of the topics that came up when I chatted with Rider Strong no August 28, 2003 about CABIN FEVER, which is anything but a kiddie flick. Despite having given two performances the day before as Benjamin in the touring company of “The Graduate,” the early hour, and the strained vocal chords, Strong virtually bubbled with enthusiasm about his latest film. It’s an attitude that is especially notable considering the hours he had to spend drenched in fake blood, a topic he remembered with both humor and, suitably, horror.
What we have in CABIN FEVER is the classic tale of city kids out in the deep dark woods with all the attendant mischief that that sort of thing engenders. The saving grace is that these kids are not outstandingly stupid, say, like the Blair Witch kids. You know, the ones that kept crossing and re-crossing the same stream as they got more and more lost instead of following said channel downstream and into the relatively safe arms of civilization. It takes itself just seriously enough to deliver genuine creeps along with the occasional crass shots of animal eviscerations and virus-ravaged flesh. It’s an old-fashioned film, not without its flaws, but done well enough to make you want to stay out of the woods for a while.