There Will Be Spoilers!
I don’t have much to say about All Cheerleaders Die other than check it out. It is currently streaming on Netflix.
An arguement can be made that this movie is a little all over the map. The movie starts off like a found footage film, moves into a normal high school drama then kicks it into high gear with with a supernatural revenge plot. The comedy and drama in the movie are not quite balanced but that doesn’t drag the movie down.
The reason why the “jumbled-ness” works is because at it’s core this movie is a rape-revenge film set in a high school and much like a high schooler this movie is finding its way and taking on different persona’s. Maddy, played by Caitlin Stasey, starts off the movie intending to make a documentary about the cheerleaders at her school, focused on one cheerleader in particular but when her subjected tragically dies she has to take a new tact. (Not a major spoiler as this happens in the first ten minutes of the movie.)
The movie shifts from being “found footage” into a typical high school movie as we watch Maddy try out for and become a cheerleader. There are boys, crushes, drinking, back stabbing and drama. Most of this take places a the big football/cheerleader party in the woods the day before school starts. At the party Maddy seduces Tracy, played by Brooke Butler, who is Terry’s girlfriend. Terry, played by Tom Williamson, is the star quarterback and for boyfriend of the cheerleader who died at the beginning of the movie. The causing a rift between Tracy and Terry and boy do things go south when Terry lashes out with violence. Seeing that none of the other football players are willing to stand up to Terry the group of cheerleaders flee. Terry, and his highly intoxicated cohorts of footballers peruse climaxing in Terry running the girls off the road and killing them.
Once again the movie shifts gears as Leena, played by Sianoa Smit-McPhee, uses her pagan magic to resurrect the four dead cheerleaders. (Why does she do this? She and Maddy used to be an item and she is still deeply in love with Maddy) At this point the movie takes on all the tropes of the horror genre with blood, gore, scantly clad women, gratuitous insert shot of someones breasts and of course sex. Without spoiling to much more Leena because the leader of this brood of succubi as they discover what they new selves can do and the women seek their revenge on the boys that hurt them.
There are two things that really stood out to me about this movie with the first being Tom Williamson’s performance. The guy plays f*&king crazy really well. I really love when a movie can really nail it villain; its one of the reasons I love Tangled so much, Mother Gothel is just straight up manipulative. In All Cheerleaders Die the character of Terry walks that line of being manipulative and violent without every being cartoon-ish or over the top. You can see the calculations going on in Williamson’s performance where Terry is working out what to do next to keep everything under his control. It was really great to watch as I was calling the character a giant d-bag.
The second thing that I really liked about this movie was the way that it layered in all the different genre elements as it movies from high school drama into a horror film. I never really felt like the film was calling attention to how clever it was being or ever went too over the top. Granted there were a couple of things that made go really? like the pit full of bear trap, but for the most part this film was fun and engaging.
The movie ends with the promise of a sequel and I hope that is delivers on it. I really cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this movie and recommend that people check it out.
Seriously its on Netflix.
Why are you still reading this.
Go watching it.