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A classic cabin fever film "The Shining."

Cabin feverish film fans can cool off with these hits


Living on the east coast, it is easy to get caught in Herculean storms, so easy in fact that snow banks often barricade New Englanders into their homes. Uh-oh, sounds like a scenario for cabin fever.

When the world outside looks like ice planet Hoth, “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) offers solace to those who feel the dark side closing in. Like this one I do with Jedi training by the masterful Yoda. But let’s be honest. This film is best for the twist no one saw coming, the twist the world would watch over and over again: Luke, I am your father.

While Hoth lurks on the outside, “Misery” (1990) may lurk on the inside. Hopefully not with the obsessive Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) more than stalking her favorite author Paul Sheldon (James Caan). When she wields that ax on his leg, yikes.

“Heeeeere’s Johnny” Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) waves his own weapon through a locked door at the Overlook Hotel just as ominously in “The Shining” (1980), the only movie to ever give me nightmares. Those dastardly twins and that bloody elevator – shiver. I will probably get nightmares again tonight just thinking about it. Apparently, Stephen King has the market cornered on authors trapped in isolation.

Cabin fever though need not only reflect one’s home. It is as easy to be trapped in other areas of your life. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) finds himself caught in his own mind in a desperate attempt to preserve the memories of his past relationship with Clementine (Kate Winslet) in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, (2004).

Carrey also finds himself ensnared as Truman Burbank in “The Truman Show” (1998), this time in the elaborate studio production that is his life as directed by Christoff (Ed Harris). Who knew Jim Carrey had the acting chops to deliver such poignant performances in these Academy Award nominated films.

That said, Jim Carrey has nothing on Bill Murray. The man is an icon and takes the lead in one of my all-time favorite movies, the underrated “Groundhog Day” (1993). Phil Connors finds himself caught in Feb. 2, reliving the same day again and again with the opportunity to fix his mistakes and to take risks without consequences. The possibilities are endless, if at times lonely, and ultimately hysterical. No doubt his is the ultimate cabin fever.

Still on a snowy day, I like to look out at the snow falling gently and imagine Edward (Johnny Depp) chipping away at his ice sculptures from his Gothic mansion in “Edward Scissorhands,” (1990). Like his beloved Kim (Winona Ryder), I yearn to dance in the snow.

So when the going gets tough the tough turn on their blue-rays, DVD players, computers, and Smartphones. There is a lot more winter to come and these flicks may just temper that cabin fever.

Dr. Tanya Feke is a family physician and guest columnist for the Record Journal and Town Times. She has been press credentialed to the LA Film Festival and continues to pursue a love of film. Her reviews are rated on a five stethoscope scale. Follow her blog (www.tanyafeke.com) or twitter (@tanyafeke).



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