Movie Review - All Cheerleaders Die

Movie Review - All Cheerleaders Die

Writer / Directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson's 2014 film, All Cheerleaders Die, plays out like a tongue-in-cheek version of The Craft - mixing elements of horror, fantasy and comedy, in a ridiculously sleek and extremely sexy package. This movie is pure, silly fun from beginning to end. But for my taste, the film was so heavy on the fun that there wasn't much room for any substance. And so we never actually connect with the characters, but instead we simply enjoy watching them onscreen. And don't get me wrong, the cast is extremely easy on the eyes, but I guess that's a good analogy for the movie as a whole: It's like going out on a date with someone you find extremely sexy, and learning that the attraction is purely a superficial one. It's not a total bust, but it isn't quite what you expected. The film is streaming on Netflix now, so if you want an hour and a half of sexy fun, go ahead and check it out, just don't expect anything more that. 

The entire cast of lead females: Caitlin Stasey (I, Frankenstein), Sianoa Smit-McPhee (Hung), relative newcomers Brooke Butler (Retribution) and Amanda Grace Cooper (The Bold and the Beautiful), and Reanin Johannink (I Survived a Zombie Holocaust) are not only completely stunning, but all seem to embrace the style of the film, by playing up the absurdity with deadpan seriousness. The women in the cast keep the film as grounded as possible, even when things start to get a little crazy, and the men in the cast manage to capture the cluelessness of high schoolers ably. Even as the film veers in more ridiculous directions, the actors never fall into the trap of trying to play into the comedy, which is a large reason why this film is so much fun. 

McKee has a penchant for female driven films, like May and The Woman, and this film is no different. In fact it shares much of it's sensibilities with May, which McKee directed over a decade ago. All Cheerleaders Die is actually a remake of a short called The Lost which the pair collaborated on in 2001. But for all its' charm, I am of the opinion that this one may have worked better as a short, as the premise is much too flimsy to carry an entire feature. All the same it makes for one heck of a good time. 

I truly like writer directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson, and hope to see them collaborate on something a little less silly and a little more scary in the future. In the meantime it was fun to see them show off their playful side. So check out All Cheerleaders Die, after all, sometimes a little light-hearted fun is just what you're in the mood for. Enjoy. Cheers. 

Grade C+.

-Leo Francis