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A large family is going to the mountain for their christmas vacation, in a rented cabin. Problems occur on Christmas Eve when the father gets drunk and his alcohol problem comes to show. We get to learn a lot about the family's background, and secrets are revealed. If you look behind the curtain, they've got a whole other story to tell than what it looks from the outside. Written by
Daniel Flathagen <email@example.com>
Very confusing at first. The best is kept till last
It's Christmastime in Norway and members of a family and all their relatives near and far are renting a log cabin to celibrate the happiest time of the Christian year. Family members from Poland are joining them too for this great family reunion.
The cabin is unexpectedly small and immediately one gets a claustrophobic feeling. Beds are tiered prison style and there is scarcely room around the communal table. Men and women and children seem to tumble over each other and a family dog adds to the confusion especially for an asthmatic sufferer.
Once the liquor starts to flow (it is so cold outside in the crisp snow) tongues are loosened and arguments start. At last we are beginning to find out who these people are, who is related to this one or that one, what their grudges are and the numerous family problems. Father it seems is the biggest problem of all. He just keeps drinking. And when he drinks he becomes abusive.
This is a DOGMA film. Understandably it would be difficult to hold the camera steady amid so much confusion in so little space. It has a theme similar to the Danish "Festen" also about a family celebration, but "Cabin Fever" is not as good. I think the characters of "Festen" are more interesting. However, I am glad I watched "Cabin Fever" to the end because it is in the closing scenes that the drama really takes hold. Father collapses after too much liquor and a bump on the head and is chucked out into the freezing night. In the morning he he he has vanished. I then begin to feel sorry for the harmless old man. Family members scream and burst into tears. What has happened to father? I think to myself the poor old chap is unconscious under the last snowfall....
A redeeming feature of the film is the scene where the joyful Christmas carollers burst in on the noisy quarrelling families. It is a truly beautiful and uplifting moment. Another nice scene is the bursting into song by the Polish family. The songs and music give something special to an otherwise dreary movie.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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