In honor of the release of Eli Roth’s 2003 Cabin Fever onto Blu-Ray, as well as the 2009 sequel Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever’s initial release onto DVD, Dread Central found this to be the ideal time to catch up with the star of the original, Rider Strong.
Strong took the time to speak to us about his experiences working on the original Cabin Fever (Blu-ray review here), what it felt like to come back for a sequel, and the skinny on his latest project, Darkening Sky.
Since I was most familiar with his television work on the ABC comedy “Boy Meets World” when Cabin Fever made its way into theaters, I asked the actor to talk about how difficult it was to make the jump from family television to one of the more gore-filled horror flicks of the last ten years.
“Cabin Fever wasn’t a surreal jump for me actually,” explained Strong. “I was more comfortable on that set than I was working on
‘Boy Meets World’ at the time. I always wanted to do something grittier and I’ve always loved the horror genre, especially since Evil Dead is one of my favorite films ever.”
“The genre had been pretty stale, and then here comes Eli with his script, and we immediately hit it off. He’s like the uber-geek of horrordom, and I could relate to that. I think that’s why we worked so well together,” Strong added.
Strong went on to discuss how Cabin Fever became part of a new “splat pack” group of films that rejuvenated the genre in the early 2000s.
Strong said, “With Cabin Fever we had a clear mission to make a horror film that left a mark on the history of the genre. Eli certainly didn’t think he’d be a pioneer of this new age of horror or anything, but what he was really looking to do as a fan of the genre was to bring horror back around to these grittier films that we both loved.”
“Cabin Fever was about bringing a raw sensibility back to a place where chicks got naked and people lost limbs. That is just part of how Eli sees the world, and this was his very dark view on humanity,” added Strong.
Since it’s no secret that Strong’s character Paul was back for Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (DVD review here), I spoke to the actor about how it felt to step back into his character and what exactly the condition poor Paul was in this time around.
“We had talked about the sequel from the moment we had finished the first so I knew I’d always get to be involved in the follow-up; I just wasn’t sure in what way,” Strong explained. “With Ti (West, the director), he certainly knew how to bring in some shock value when he introduces Paul in the sequel all messed up with his face half melted off. It was pretty fun to come back and be part of this new story, even if it wasn’t for long.”
Now with the Cabin Fever legacy behind him, Strong spoke to Dread Central about his latest project, Darkening Sky.
Strong said, “Darkening Sky is this fun, super-low-budget sci-fi project that wouldn’t necessarily be considered really horror because it’s very stripped down science fiction. My character is working on his thesis about UFO abductions, and when his girlfriend goes missing, he has to try and piece together whether or not she was really abducted or if he’s just going insane.”
“I loved everything about the Darkening Sky script. With indie films, sometimes quality can be a crapshoot, but everything about this film turned out amazing. It has an ‘X Files’ feeling to it so it is psychologically terrifying. I was glad to get to do this next,” added Strong.
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