"All Cheerleaders Die", But They Don't All Make It To Heaven Review

It's not a horror film itself, but a case could be made that the blood shed in Heathers flows as freely through the genre today as does that of the Dead trilogy or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It's certainly splattered all over All Cheerleaders Die, a vision of the high school pecking order as bitter as the 1989 pre-Columbine bloodbath, but significantly less witty or humane. All cheerleaders may die, but they don't all leave much behind when they go.

After watching her friend Alexis (Felisha Cooper) killed in a cheerleading stunt gone wrong, Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) tries out for the squad when the new school year begins-and to the surprise of all involved, makes it on. She quickly befriends Tracy (Brooke Butler), who has already started dating Alexis’s old boyfriend team captain Terry (Tom Williamson), much to the chagrin of Maddy’s old girlfriend Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee). But Maddy has ulterior motives, which are only laid bare in the wake of another terrible tragedy. And, for good measure, Leena’s a witch.

At times, it feels like Cheerleaders is hell-bent on claiming the Guinness record for number of uses of the word ‘bitch’ in a single film. For the most part, it’s used affectionately, but it’s a strong indicator of just how little roaming space these characters have. They roll their eyes, they make snide remarks, they let artificial wind blow their hair up (but never out of place)-they behave like a generation whose model for high school life is Heathers. As such, even when the bodies start dropping, they’re never anything more than that-bodies, if well-toned ones. All Cheerleaders Die doesn’t skimp on the chaos, but it only builds up so much worth burning down.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Just a behind-the-scenes featurette.

"All Cheerleaders Die" is on sale July 22, 2014 and is not rated. Horror. Written and directed by Lucky McKee. Starring Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit Mcphee, Brooke Butler, Tom Williamson, Felisha Cooper.

Oct
19
2014
Anders Nelson • Associate Editor

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