Eli Roth and LIONS GATE did a fine job promoting his
directorial film debut. Even more confounding is the fact that someone as
talented as Peter Jackson gave the film praise for its biggest advertising
This predictable tale about a bunch of college kids taking a vacation trip to a remote cabin, planning for booze and sex, but only finding that a contagious flesh-eating bacteria is infecting group members
one at a time, borrows from many other horror films. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as any of the rest managed to be. It’s a sorry situation when the “best” thing the film’s got going for it are a few
nude scenes, or “one” scary scene built around a character shaving her legs, only to find skin beginning to come off due to the spreading of the virus! Roth manages to completely gloss over the more troubling issues facing the group as they turn on one another. It’s a shame, because somewhere there was a potentially really captivating tale.
LIONS GATE has preserved the film’s 2.35:1 aspect
ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. Colors are solid, and the contrast is
excellent, considering the low-budget nature of the film. There is impressive
detail in virtually every scene. Fleshtones appear natural.
LIONS GATE has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for
this release. It’s aggressive, albeit not perfectly balanced. Music and
directional effects overshadow the film’s dialogue. While dialogue is
intelligible, it isn’t as defined as the other elements of the mix.
LIONS GATE obviously believed in this film.
There are plenty of extras, including five commentaries! Roth is featured on
each of the following: Guys only/Girls only/Filmmakers/Rider Strong commentary.
A collection of lousy, short films made by Roth prior to this one, and meant as a spoof of the popular “California Raisins” commercials, is provided here. There are other gimmick segments, but none are
really worth commenting on.