All Cheerleaders Die
Blu-ray l DVD l Instant
Directed by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson
Written by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson
Starring Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler, Tom Williamson, and Felisha Cooper
Not Rated | 89 Minutes
Release Date: October 31st 2013 (USA)
All Cheerleaders Die is so unoriginal throughout that it somehow becomes totally original by the end. The film is co-written and directed by Lucky McKee (May, The Woman) and Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me), remaking their original debut in 2001. Despite that, it seems spliced together from footage found in the Buffy, Charmed, and I Know What You Did Last Summer editing rooms.
Once all these pieces are in place, All Cheerleaders Die somehow defies the odds; rather than becoming predictable and silly, it is a wild and crazy way to spend an hour and a half. In a movie with revenge, magic, hot vampire-zombies, and a villain who eats enchanted stones, it’s hard not to find at least something to like.
The film starts with Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) filming her friend Alexis (Felisha Cooper) through the normal high school day-in-the-life of a stereotypical alpha-female cheerleader. Alexis dates the star football player, mocks everyone who isn’t gorgeous and cool, and after detailing the rigors and risks of cheerleading as a violent sport…DIES in a cheerleading trick gone wrong. We flash forward to the beginning of senior year and Maddy is now trying out for Alexis’s vacant spot. We know she hates the cheerleaders thanks to her video blog, and we guesstimate a previous relationship with an odd goth girl Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee); but those details are temporarily thrown aside as Maddy quickly adapts to cheerleader lifestyle which of course involves parties, drinking, and run-ins with the boys on the football team.
Things quickly spiral out of control as Maddy and cheer captain Tracy (Brooke Butler) get closer. Tracy’s jealous ex-boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson) snaps and soon a car full of teenage cheerleaders goes flying off a cliff to the water below. Leena pulls the bodies out of the car and it turns out that her “wicca bullshit” is actual magic. Soon the dead are back to life and out for revenge against the “Dogs” on the football team. That is until Terry and the boys figure out what’s going on. By the time we’re at the final 20 minutes the movie has gone for broke with frenzied chases and full-on gore (digging magic rocks out of screaming bodies with a huge knife).
McKee knows how to work with interesting, crazy, and sexual female characters. In 2002 he directed cult classic May about a lonely woman who literally pieces the perfect man together, and his highly debated The Woman in 2011 definitely turned heads for its graphic content. The plot and script come secondary to the scenery here. Everyone is beautiful to look at and the acting is surprisingly good for the material they’re given.
While in no way a perfect film, All Cheerleaders Die is a totally fun and ridiculous way to kill a night on Netflix (free with streaming subscription, or available for $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video). I for one am pleasantly awaiting the teased sequel.