By: Addison Wylie
A high school ditzy clique suffers fatal injuries. The clique are brought back from the dead using Wiccan rituals, leading the ragtag undead to seek revenge. Yes, that premise is rote. But, when it comes to telling a story that simple, I imagine it’d be hard to screw it up. Surprisingly, the minds behind All Cheerleaders Die unfathomably do so.
How do you do it? How do you mess up a movie this badly? In the future, scientists will test multiple hypotheses and run numerous tests in order to figure out…why. All Cheerleaders Die doesn’t drop the ball. It spikes it into the terra and creates the Grand Canyon.
According to sources, All Cheerleaders Die is a remake of a previous film with the same name. Both films are directed and written by the same two filmmakers, Chris Sivertson and Lucky McKee. Sivertson doesn’t have a great résumé to reference unless you dug the Lindsay Lohan clunker I Know Who Killed Me and all its sloppy colour symbolism. McKee, on the other hand, has directed May – a phenomenal horror.
May captures social awkwardness exceptionally through the eyes of someone who vies for a simple salutation. It’s dark, edgy, and has an ending that’s terrifying to this day.
Unlike his work in May, All Cheerleaders Die has McKee – along with Sivertson – struggling to squeeze out a story. This reiteration should’ve had the filmmakers on easy street.
In their eyes, Silverstein and McKee have made their film an accessible”good time”. They at least build this movie like its own stand alone project instead of calling back to their prior film.
All Cheerleaders Die, however, is missing any sort of convincing justification among the characters and a consistency in its narrative. The film takes far too long to set itself up and plays the events as straight as possible. With a title like All Cheerleaders Die and a trailer that hints at midnight madness camp, it’s a buzzkill to find a melodramatic, complicated plot layered on so thick while being portrayed by robotic actors.
When the film is finally ready to let its hair down, it’s too late. The scatterbrained humour taking obvious jabs at the film’s airhead teenagers are all jokes you’ve heard before and told in the same way. The throwaway uses of the word “bitch” when the troupe refers to themselves adds to the insipid shallowness.
I can’t even give the film brownie points on delivering schlocky blood and gore. All Cheerleaders Die has its violent moments, but they aren’t without cheap looking effects that lack definition. The blood, in particular, looks as if it belongs in a lava lamp.
Then, towards the end, the film gets really nasty with McKee and Silvertson’s villain. They take any wind that may have been in existence in the movie’s sails and replace it with uncomfortable chases where a maniacal male hunts down screeching women.
All Cheerleaders Die is a garbled disaster fueled by immature libidos and fantasies. The only way this could get worse is if this horrible movie ended telling us it was “part one” of something.