While the potential was a bit wasted, All Cheerleaders Die isn’t an all together bad flick with some OK acting headlined by Caitlin Stasey and frankly, the effects weren’t that bad either. However, any energy the film earned and built early on dissipated by the third act making for something that could’ve been great and is instead passable entertainment worthy of maybe a rental.
All Cheerleaders Die
Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Comedy
RLJ Entertainment | NR – 90 min. – $29.97 | July 22, 2014
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
There’s always something about a cheerleader (they’re hot, of course) but when they’re undead, well, they take on the same sexy form, but need that something extra to feed their thirst.
Maddy Killian (CAITLIN STASEY), at movie’s opening, is the typical outsider but a year after a freak accident that killed Blackwood High’s lead cheerleader, she decides to try out for the squad and manages to make the cut gaining new friends – including Tracy (BROOKE BUTLER) and Martha (REANIN JOHANNINK) as well as school mascot and religious introvert, and Martha’s sister, Hanna (AMANDA GRACE COOPER) —, much to the chagrin of her Goth wicken ex-girlfriend, Leena (SIANDA SMIT-MCPHEE). Maddy has something against the football team’s captain, Terry (TOM WILLIAMSON), and makes it her mission to take him down, first by breaking up his relationship with Tracy whom Maddy seduces (yep, obligatory Lesbian kissing make-out) and then egging him on as he confronts the squad at a late-night hangout locale. The skirmish leads to a car chase where the girls’ vehicle plunges into the cold waters while Terry, along with his crew, leaving them to die.
…which they do. Luckily Leena witnesses the crash and attempts to save the girls, pulling each one out, though she’s apparently too late. So, she uses some crystals, does a spell/chant and each crystal goes inside the girls’ wounds bringing them back to life. The following morning, after dealing with the confusion of the events, not to mention Martha and Hanna switching bodies, and also feeding on a poor innocent neighbor as they need to gain strength, they return to school in style doing the slow-motion hallway strut… in tight cheerleading uniforms of course.
As the student body checks them out, the boys from the night before are particularly surprised and now the fun begins with the girls targeting the football players responsible for the crash with finally Terry becoming some sort of supervillain and seeing what the girls really are and taking proactive steps to gain the upper-hand.
Premise wise, All Cheerleaders Die had plenty going for it and the film does start off promisingly enough with some witty dialogue (in a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” kind of way), interesting characters led by Caitlin Stasey playing Maddy and some humor, one raunchy, that hit the mark. However, for all the promise, the film does seem to run out of steam, though the final shot is amusing leading to a potential second movie, though I doubt it’ll ever happen.
All Cheerleaders Die was written and directed by Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson based on their own 2001 movie of the same name, and although this is hardly a flawless movie, there’s just enough there there to make this a moderate recommendation as a rental, nothing more.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
The only thing included is a Making the Squad (23:45) behind-the-scenes featurette providing background on the project and on-set interviews.
Previews – Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, Wolf Creek 2, Way of the Wicked
VIDEO – 4.5/5
All Cheerleaders Die takes to the field presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture, for the most part, looks clean, no obvious signs of pixilation and with good detail levels throughout. Also of note, colors are bright and skin tones appear to be natural.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, though, is mixed. While the score, choice music and audio effects come through each channel with clarity, I found the dialogue levels to be a tad soft and hard to discern exactly what’s being said, not sure if it’s the mix levels on set or what, but it took what could’ve been a great lossless track into something more on the acceptable realm.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, while the potential was a bit wasted, All Cheerleaders Die isn’t an all together bad flick with some OK acting headlined by Caitlin Stasey and frankly, the effects weren’t that bad either. However, any energy the film earned and built early on dissipated by the third act making for something that could’ve been great and is instead passable entertainment worthy of maybe a rental.