Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (Blu-ray Review)

Cabin Fever: Patient ZeroA group of friends planned the perfect vacation in the Caribbean, but when they head ashore to explore a remote island, their ultimate bachelor weekend devolves into their worst nightmare. After an ill-fated swim in contaminated water, they stumble upon a seemingly abandoned research facility where a deadly, flesh-eating virus has been unleashed. In the aftermath of a massacre, the only people left alive are a handful of secretive medical personnel and “Patient Zero” (Sean Astin), the lone person who’s been exposed to the disease and shows no symptoms. Can they find a way to survive and escape, or will the virus consume them all in a bloodbath of chaos and carnage?  

 Cabin Fever: Patient Zero


Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is the prequel to Eli Roth’s film, which I only saw once many years ago and thought it was awful. I never did see the direct-to-video sequel that was Cabin Fever: Spring Fever, so I can’t comment on where the franchise was headed. As I mentioned before, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is the prequel to the original and it stars a bunch of nobodies and features Sean Astin in a small role that was obviously taken just for the paycheck and not the pedestal.

The basic storyline is that a few friends are kicking it in the Caribbean and chip in to charter a yacht that will sail them over to a deserted island where more debauchery will ensue. Unbeknownst to our crew of stupid young people, the island houses a secret underground laboratory where unspeakable experiments of the biological king take place everyday. Something has eradicated most of the people at the lab and only Porter (Sean Astin) and a few lab hands and sinister doctor are left alive and scattered about. Porter is an interesting fella. He seems to be immune to the virus that is turning everyone into a bloodstain yet he is being kept alive due to the research team trying to hopefully get some antibodies to fight the disease that’s stripping the flesh right off of people.

All Porter wants to do is get home to his and son before it’s too late. How and why is Porter in the clutches of this secret research team? Like many things in the film strong editing and a coherent script were not on the menu and that is very unfortunate. I will say that Sean Astin’s character and the brilliant gore effects are the best part of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. The worst part of the film would have to be everything else. I did not care about any of the characters depicted, because they were written to be so stupid, annoying, and unlikable that I could not wait for the film to be over so that I could get on with my life.

Yes, the film takes place in an exotic location, which is great, but too bad the people here are all jerks. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero also makes the mistake of casting pretty 20 year olds to play doctors and lab techs, which is fine, because I’m sure there are many attractive doctors and lab techs with what seem to be fake breasts flopping around in secret underground labs and ripping their clothes off as soon as they are drenched in fluids out in the real world, too. End rant. The dialogue is horrible and the acting is horrible, as well.

I understand that there’s another prequel that will apparently bridge the gap into Roth’s first film. Yay. We’ll see what happens with that one. The only positive note I can leave this review on is the really cool special make-up effects and Sean Astin. Everyone else can go die. Oh wait, they did.

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The majority of the film takes place in the beautiful Dominican Republic and some of the vistas are really a sight to behold. Contrast is fine and is never tweaked into oblivion, as are sharpness levels.

Depth: Depth is insane and will make you want to jump into the water and I hate the water. That’s a true testament of this transfer.

Black Levels: Black levels are somewhat solid throughout, with exception to a couple of shots that used some pretty weak rear projection. Those scenes are littered with crush and compression artifacts.

Color Presentation: The color palette is rich and vibrant especially during the various scenes of bloodletting.

Flesh Tones: They start out looking natural before turning into ewwww. You’ll see.

Noise/Artifacts: There a few scenes that contain a bit of artifacts and noise and those are restricted to some weird rear projection used towards the end. It’ snot a big deal but it’s there.

 Cabin Fever: Patient Zero


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Cabin Fever: Patient Zero has a very robust lossless soundtrack. The film takes place in close quarters, the city, in the ocean, so there’s lots of activity buzzing around through the soundscape. It’s not reference material but it is above average for a small horror like this.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel does its thing and gives the overall bass proceedings a nice and hearty push into the low end. No complaints here.

Surround Sound Presentation: 

Dialogue Reproduction: Every single word and scream can be heard without a problem. Dialogue levels are strong and centered.

 Cabin Fever: Patient Zero



This is a bare bones Blu-ray. There’s a DVD copy of the film included, too.

 Cabin Fever: Patient Zero


You know, this would have been my cup of tea if the characters weren’t so damn annoying and stupid. My one star for the movie itself is aimed right at the make-up special effects, because that’s the only reason why you should put yourself through the ordeal that is Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. The Blu-ray has above average video and audio but drops the ball severely in the extras department. That will tank the overall rating I’m afraid. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. Ah, who are we kidding – this is a bad movie. Move along.



Order Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on Blu-ray!

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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