Patient zero movies are becoming a bit of a trend, especially after the success of "World War Z". It makes sense for the Cabin Fever series to also receive the 'patient zero' treatment, seeing how it's a series that's dealing with a lethal virus. Even though it's starting to become a bit of a trend lately, it still a fresh and original enough approach to the genre, so you won't hear me complaining (yet).
I just have to say that this really isn't a bad movie, Not a bad one at all! Sure, it's still filled with plenty of flaws and not everything works out that well but really, once you have seen as many bad, cheap and uncreative B-horror movies as I have, there is absolutely no way you can call this movie a bad one as well. Compared to most other genre movies, made with similar budgets, this one is doing some actually interesting and effective things at times that make this movie worthwhile, though as I said before, it's definitely not without its flaws as well.
I liked the movie best when it was building up. It had a good pace to it and I liked how the movie was building up toward certain things that you just knew were coming. Sure, it means that the movie isn't terribly original and it mostly also is a very predictable one but at the same time, it also means that it doesn't disappoint with anything or is ever doing an awful lot wrong. There are no weird and nonsensical twists, that come out of absolutely nowhere. Most of the twists are safe ones, that you can see coming from miles away already, which doesn't sound like much of a compliment or a very positive thing but it simply helps to make things pleasant and therefore also perfectly fine to watch. There is definitely nothing about this movie that ever truly annoyed or angered me, even though I still have to say that once things truly start to develop and the true 'horror' and gore kicks in, I sort of started to loose interest and the movie definitely became a weaker one to watch for me. I still liked how it incorporated some of the true 'cabin fever' ingredients into the movie toward the end of it but it wasn't quite enough to lift the movie.
A real positive thing about this movie is its cast. Sure, it features all of the usual stereotypical characters in it but at least they are played by some pretty decent and recognizable actors. Normally these type of movies feature some young, inexperienced, big unknowns in it, that you have never heard of before and are likely to also never see again in any movie. This movie luckily is different and obviously features some actors in it who knew what they were doing and I even recognized some of their names and faces (next to Sean Astin of course). It also helps to make some of the characters some likable enough ones, which is something a lot of other similar genre movies can't even get right anymore nowadays.
It's a movie that's basically following two different main plot lines, that both come together at the end of the movie. This can be both a positive and negative thing for a movie. It can work out as something positive, since it usually means that you are getting two movies for the price of one but it can also mean that things tend to feel a bit too messy and disjointed at times. In this case it mostly feels too disjointed unfortunately. The two story lines are too different from each other, since they are set at different locations with each a very different atmosphere, feature too different characters and the story lines and build up is all far too different as well. It basically comes down to it that you are watching two totally different movies at the same time, without them ever tying in with each other properly enough, at least not until the very end. And once things finally come together, it doesn't all feel that right or natural.
Thing most of the 'Cabin Fever' movies are known and liked for is its gore. And really, nothing wrong with the gore in this movie either. It features some pretty decent looking effects and makeup in it and handles most of it besides well. It isn't just featuring gore for the sake of featuring gore but it actually gets incorporated well into the story. Even while the gore usually is something crazy and extremely exaggerated to watch in this, it does work out well for the story and its mystery and tension. Perhaps this also is because the movie isn't constantly filled with tons of blood and gore. It picks the right times and spots for it and therefore often works out as something effective to watch.
It's not a great movie but definitely a whole lot better and more enjoyable to watch than most other similar modern genre movies, made with a similar type of budget.