Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever Review: Another Lame Entry

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (2023).

The seventh installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series, Cabin Fever, directed by Luke Cormican, attempts to capture the holiday spirit. This time, it’s with a tale centered around Greg Heffley’s misadventures during the winter break. However, despite its attempts, this animated Christmas comedy falls short of expectations.

The film revolves around Greg Heffley, now voiced by Wesley Kimmel, as he navigates the chaos of the holiday season. The premise seems promising enough: a snowed-in situation, a damaged snowplow, and the looming fear of not receiving a coveted video game console for Christmas. Yet, the execution of this storyline lacks the charm and wit that fans have come to expect from the series.

One of the most noticeable changes in this installment is the replacement of Brady Noon by Wesley Kimmel as the voice of Greg Heffley. While Kimmel tries to bring his own spin to the character, Noon’s absence leaves a noticeable void. The dynamics between the characters, especially the friendship between Greg and Rowley Jefferson, voiced by Spencer Howell replacing Ethan William Childress, lack the endearing chemistry seen in previous films.

The voice cast, including Erica Cerra as Susan Heffley, Chris Diamantopoulos as Frank Heffley, and Hunter Dillon as Rodrick Heffley, delivers their lines competently but fails to inject the energy and authenticity needed to truly bring these characters to life. The humor feels forced, and the emotional depth that made the earlier films relatable seems lacking.

The animation, while vibrant and colorful, doesn’t offer anything particularly groundbreaking. It maintains the same style seen in the previous animated films but doesn’t elevate the viewing experience. The visuals, though adequate, don’t compensate for the narrative’s shortcomings.

The film’s pacing also contributes to its downfall. The plot meanders through a series of mishaps without a strong central conflict or a meaningful resolution. What could’ve been a promising exploration of family dynamics gets lost in a mishmash of uninspired gags and predictable scenarios.

On a positive note, the film does capture the essence of Jeff Kinney’s source material to some extent. It maintains the core elements of the other films, depicting Greg’s relatable struggles with family, friendships, and adolescence. However, this familiarity alone isn’t enough to salvage the film from its shortcomings.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever feels like a missed opportunity. Despite its attempts to include a holiday theme, the film falls short in terms of character depth, humor, and storytelling. While younger viewers might find moments of amusement, fans of the series might leave feeling underwhelmed.

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  • Acting - 6.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 5/10
  • Watchability - 5/10
  • Rewatchability - 4/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.