It's possible to read Paul as less sympathetic than intended. He comes on the trip purely hoping to score with Karen and seems more concerned that she's cold-shouldering him than that they lit another man on fire the previous night when he asked for help. Plus the infamous scene of him discovering the infection has him feeling her up while she's asleep and didn't appear to consent. And then once she gets quarantined, he just has sex with Marcy instead. He also plans to just leave Karen and Bert behind after that.
You could read Marcy and Jeff's relationship as having problems from the start, primarily because of what a Jerkass the latter is. As time goes on, Marcy establishes herself as a responsible Team Mom - who still brings Karen food after she's infected, washes all the plates herself to make sure the others don't get infected and shows empathy for everyone as the film goes on. Was she in denial about Jeff's worse qualities until now? Or was she suppressing her own personality beforehand? The deleted scenes show her growing closer to Paul, suggesting the latter.
Porter infecting the two survivors and escaping at the end of Patient Zero. Was he killing them so that he could start over clean, or was he Maddened Into Misanthropy by his treatment in the facility?
Best Known for the Fanservice: The sex scene between Paul and Marcy is even on this very Wiki one of the more memorable parts of the movie. Partly because it does come a little out of nowhere.note Though this is partly due to some other scenes foreshadowing Marcy and Paul growing closer getting cut. Behind the scenes, the most memorable detail also comes from this scene - where Cerina Vincent only allowed one inch of her ass shown on screen and the rest taped with a bedsheet.
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The "PANCAKES!" scene and the rabbit surgeon. Big surprise the first one was added in at the last minute when Eli Roth saw the little kid practicing tae kwon do.
Catharsis Factor: Word of God says that he found Jeff to be such a dick when creating the story that having him seemingly survive to the end, only to get gunned down while celebrating was very satisfying to him.
Inverted. Marcy's monologue where she compares her situation to "being on a plane that you know is gonna crash" would've almost certainly resonated far stronger with the audience when the film premiered - only a year after 9/11. The audition date was actually on 9/11 and that was the scene that had to be read.
A lot of the dialogue traits from the original. So much so that these aspects were noticeably sanitized out of the remake:
While controversial even at the time, the N-wordBrick Joke feels especially uncomfortable when viewed in the modern political climate.
The film's frequent use of the word "gay" - used almost entirely as an insult and not in reference, derogatory or otherwise, to homosexuality stirred up it's fair share of controversy when the film came out. Some people decried it as being offensive to the gay community, while others defended it as being an accurate depiction of how teenagers spoke in reality. Accurate as it may have been, it now seems to reek of Values Dissonance between 2002 and the modern day.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: Jordan Ladd claims that she'd never really watched horror films before making this one. During filming, Eli Roth kept recommending so many that she ended up watching loads - and becoming a horror fan herself.
The last shot is of the first shown victim lying in the river and bleeding into the water. It pans over to a truck of bottled water, presumably filled with Cool, Clear Water (see above) from the river.
The sequel's ending animation shows a trucker drinking Down Home Spring Water. He pees in the bottle and throws it at some dumb kids in a convertible. The kids are heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
Marcy's first introduction with her squealing "Woo-hoo! No more fucking finals!" feels extremely odd, as though she waited until then to celebrate rather than when she actually finished her last exam. It feels like an awkward As You Know to the audience in case they wouldn't know why these kids are going on their trip.
In the middle of their talk, Karen weirdly breaks off and then says "hey...race you to the raft".
The sheer amount of F-bombs when Jeff and Marcy are chewing out Bert for using the gun makes it feel like they're trying to set some kind of record.
Marcy walking into a camera frame that stays fixated on her ass and even goes into slow-motion.
Nausea Fuel: A lot. Why do you ask? The disease from this movie was even voted Number One on The Most Deadliest Movie Diseases.
One-Scene Wonder: Dennis just appears in three scenes but of course his "pancakes!" scene is the most remembered part of the movie.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: Fans each have their own opinions as to whether Paul would've ultimately been better off with Karen or Marcy. There have been many discussions, particularly when the movie first came out.
Sequelitis: So bad that the director refuses to be associated with it.
Special Effects Failure: After John cuts off his hand in Spring Fever, Cassie covers up the stump with duct tape. It's clearly his fist wrapped up and him holding his arm slightly back to make it look shorter.
Squick: A lot. Why do you ask? This is made about a million times worse by the clear connection between the flesh-eating disease and sex.
The "Pancakes" kid is a boy, named Dennis. However he has very long hair and is apparently prepubescent, so many people mistook him for a girl.
What an Idiot!: Winston. Aside from being creepy as fuck, he does not seem to think clearly either. A sick and disoriented Paul encountered Winston partying in the forest, and knocked him out when he heard that all infected persons are to be shot on sight. He then stumbled onto the highway, and a truck-driver took him to that local doctor's office, where the police located him. As he was too sick to talk, he could not communicate to the officers that one of the infected bodies had fallen into the local water reservoir, and hence infected it. To find out what he tries to say, the doctors advise that the police brings him to the county hospital, who actually has the capabilities to treat the flesh-eating bacteria. Deputy Winston is chosen to transport him there. Yet, he is vengeful for being hit over the head by him earlier.
You'd expect: That he will complete his task without hesitating. Paul is quite possibly the key for scientists to analyse this virus further so they are prepared for future infections. Apart from that, Paul still has something very important to say.
Instead: He doesn't give a shit. He is only out for revenge, and dumps Paulin the closest river. And that was bloody stupid. He pretty much is solely responsible for everything that happened in the sequel and after that. He actually dumped a guy with a highly aggressive and quickly spreading bacterial infection in a river, which co-incidentally leads back to that town and the Cool, Clear Water bottling factory. He should really have known that. Apart from that, there wasn't much of a reason in the first place. Oh, and he got away with it.
Catharsis Factor: After reading about how horrible the living conditions for imprisoned waterbenders are, Hama breaking into the prison and slamming several guards around (especially the one that tortured Katara not too long ago) feels great.