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I didn't expect to have such fun watching this. It obviously aims to be
for an adult audience with all the blood and sexual situations the
characters get themselves into. Having Lucky McKee doing a movie like
this might be the biggest surprise though. I never thought we would see
a light side of this director, but obviously I was wrong. And that is a
good thing, because the movie works.
Giving the cheerleader to do what they want and making this all about women/girls was a really good decision, even if at one or two moments I thought some of the guys where painted to dark, without some shades. But this is about having fun, so don't let that distract you from some obvious flaws
I still don't know what to make of writer/director Lucky McKee. It
started strong with May (2002) which I thought was a wonderfully
crafted drama/thriller that put McKee on my radar. His venture into
television as director of the Masters of Horror episode titled 'Sick
Girl' was OK, but didn't capture my attention as much as May. Then came
The Woods (2006) and Red (2008) which were both relatively competent,
but hardly memorable. The Woman (2011) was definitely memorable and
made headlines for its festival showing and a paying attendee that was
less than thrilled with what he saw on the big screen (YouTube it,
you'll thank me).
McKee's newest project, All Cheerleaders Die, got a coveted spot amongst the 10 films picked as part of the Midnight Madness series at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where it will be making its World Premiere.
The title sounds rudimentary, but the film is anything but. Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) is an outcast amongst her High School peers and she has a particular hatred for the cheerleading squad. That leads Maddy to try out for the team in an attempt to infiltrate and ultimately bring down the all too popular clique of good looking teens with great looking adult breasts. The opening scenes before the title card set up a plot device that really comes full circle by the film's final shot and the audience at the packed Bloor Cinema collectively gasped and clapped with the first fatality.
Fans of horrors films would likely yawn at such an introductory synopsis. But the movie hardly heads in directions one can foresee and before long, Maddy, school friend Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) and the whole squad of short skirt/white sneaker females are battling the opposite sex with a supernatural element under toning the struggles.
McKee and fellow director Chris Sivertson throw the proverbial kitchen sink at the audience and I can best describe All Cheerleaders Die as a movie which if the creative makers behind Heathers, Carrie, the television Charmed and Jennifer's Body all took a big dump in a blender and the resulting mixture was then baked into a soufflé would be the result.
Most of what is being cooked works. The comedy surely does with High School verbal jibes thrown at a Mean Girls pace. And the acting is definitely there to back up the promise of the script ideas. Unfortunately, the film ultimately just falls short of hitting a triple. Man, there is a lot to ingest. Witches, evil quarterbacks, zombies, walking dead, supernatural, conjuring like we said, "the kitchen sink" I liken All Cheerleaders Die therefore to last year's Monster's Brawl. It's a lot of fun with an audience and there are some elements of originality, but if sitting in a darkened basement screening the film by one's lonesome, you might not enjoy the audience effect fun-factor that can sometimes elevate a reviewer's response.
McKee is definitely out of his downer-phase. Most of the director's earlier work was depressing and dry. But with All Cheerleaders Die, he dug deep into his inner cheerleader to bring a labor of love to the big screen (McKee and Siverston made a video All Cheerleaders Die in 2001 to launch their careers).
The ending to the film more than hints that this is just the first installment of what may be many more Cheerleaders Die films if this entry hits the market running. We are hopeful, yet skeptical. It would have been a great AMC movie, but as a theatrical release, we are not sure this effort is worth the hard earned dollars wearing away in our wallets.
I'm surprised at what a good horror flick this turned out to be. It
starts slow but it really picks up with a few twist that make it stand
out from other horror flicks, kinda like the horror film, You're Next
did a year back, putting a different spin on what at first seem like a
by the numbers horror film, though All Cheerleaders Die is a few levels
down from You're Next.
I went to go see the movie because I was hoping because of the title that I would see a group of hot sexy cheerleaders getting killed with some possible nudity and I got all that plus a little girl on girl, but it's technically not enough of it to really keep you interested.
The movie strength is that it points out how horrifyingly Horrible popular teens can be. Just when you think you understand how stereotypical the plot is, another cool kid comes in and adds another dimension to it. It goes from a revenge flick to a supernatural horror flick and then to something else entirely, and the story all blends together well.
This was a fun ride worth the watch.
There's dead cheerleaders out for revenge, witchcraft and body
switching, yet this never amounts to anything fun. Most of the first
act has very little happening and is an endurance test waiting for the
plot to begin. Boring murderous jocks kill some cheerleaders who get
resurrected by a young witch in love with one of the cheerleaders and
the tone sits uncomfortably between campy self aware cheese and flat,
unfunny B material. The characters are barely distinguishable from one
another and there isn't a single memorable on screen death. Yet another
step in the wrong direction for the once promising Lucky McKee and a
major step up from Chris Sivertson's I Know Who Killed Me. TV
production values don't help here either.
I'm shocked by how harsh the reviews are for this film. No, this is not Gone with the Wind or Citizen Kane, but for what it is, the movie is pretty great. I caught this film after it came out on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Compared to 90% of horror films being made today, this one is infinitely more engaging and clever. At the same time, it has all the classic elements of a teen scream that one would look for if you were in the mood for that type of film. Honestly, it's an inventive take on a classic move genre and well worth your time if you are in the mood for some silly, gory fun. Highly recommend you ignore all the people who trashed this movie and see it for yourself. You'll be glad you did.
Took me a while before I watched this one because people compared it
with the teenage witch classic The Craft (1996) and somehow it does but
it is a worth looking even if you aren't a teenager.
All Cheerleaders Die takes it time before it all really starts but once it starts it does deliver the horror, it's low profile, I admit but you will keep watching it until the end. Evene as it is full of clichés, you know, the nerdie type who will solve the problem, the sexy chicks being killed. But once killed it all takes a strange turn.
The ending is open as hell and normally it would deliver a second entry. I'm curious if it ever will come that far but if you want a no-brainer then pick this up, no gore at all but here and there it is showing us the red stuff.
Gore 0/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 2,5/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
This is a poor remake with poor production values. It almost looks
Some High School cheerleaders get attacked one night by the High School Jocks and end up driving into the river.
Lucky for them a girl at the High School and also a friendly, neighbourhood witch revives them and they have unusual powers such as a lust for blood. Not sure how these girls have got a vampire type blood-lust.
The girls ineptly plan revenge on the boys who attacked them but the alpha male, who is the most sadistic and vile figures out that these cheerleaders have special powers and he is hell bent on acquiring them.
The film has a great deal of uneven tone. A typical High School comedy about the beautiful people, bitchiness to bullying and the worse kind of cruel, male bullying. It varies wildly unsure whether it wants to be a black horror comedy, campy silliness to supernatural, or just plain cruel.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
...is really not a good idea, but Lucky "May" McKee and Chris "The Lost" Sivertson went right ahead and did it anyway. The cast of relative unknowns do their damnedest, to little avail, with a script that has no real idea what it wants to accomplish and takes its own sweet time doing it. Syd Field would not be pleased, nor any other screen writing guru, and apparently the most recent crop of IMDb mavens aren't, either. I'm not surprised. There's some nonsense involving a totally distorted interpretation of Wiccan magic, some very limp lipstick lesbianism, a touch of unimpressive gore, and a coterie of actors who (at least according to the DVD's brief making-of feature) had more fun making this film than they reveal on screen. I can only hope they were paid scale at least; they deserve it after consenting to be in this mess. Forgettable at best, and a definite blot on any self-respecting public library's reputation, this is not going to lead to bigger and better things for anyone involved. Strictly for the indiscriminate viewer only.
Attempting to get through high-school, a group of cheerleaders get into
an accident at a party and awake to find themselves possessed by
spiritual stones that give them dangerous powers against their
classmates and forces them to battle the men to stay alive.
This one was quite the enjoyable and truly fun effort. What really makes this one work nicely is the rather fun and engaging series of scenes that showcase the rather exciting lifestyle of the high- school elite portrayed here as this one goes into a rather strong amount of scenes showing them at play in their high-school cliques. The way they engage in their activities, from the manner in which they conduct themselves at school and their practices is quite the overall fun effort and there's a glee to be had here as the groups go off in their typical high-school groups. Given the accident that sets everything in motion and how that plays into what happens later on, there's some really good work here on that front so that it brings out some of the film's greatest parts here with the big party scene out in the woods which manages to be the film's big moment as there's the crazy high-school antics throughout the party as they all begin drinking, hanging out and generally acting as well as indulging in their witchcraft and lesbian tendencies that run throughout the scene and then brings up the big fight that starts the big change-over into their car-crash that includes the big resurrection scene on the beach afterwards which makes this such a fun sequence. There's still plenty of good times here once they get back to the school and begin tormenting the population which allows for some really fun sleazy antics of them seducing everyone and going after the required blood to stay alive and trying to hold out on the killing but still managing to engage in plenty of overall rowdy activities that give that section a boost as well as some solid set-up for the final half where they get wind of their true identities and turn the tables on them in order to set up the great finale in the cemetery which makes for some truly fun times here. Along with the fine gore here, these were the film's best parts and hold this up over it's minor flaws. The biggest issue here is the fact that this one really goes overboard in regards to it's rather fantastic efforts brought to bear in the finale here which makes for a wholly off-putting finish. It's quite flimsy why it goes into that range with the sudden emergence of superpowers in their arsenal and the floating, glowing jewels makes for a rather some rather troubling material during this section. As well, there isn't much about the main guy that's all that appealing, managing to really get annoying and aggravating here with a completely unwarranted degree of behavior that makes for one of the most irritating and bland villains who really comes off utterly unlikable throughout here and why he's considered a threat or even appealing to them from the outset is quite a mystery. Otherwise there's not much else to really dislike here.
Rated R: Extreme Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Nudity, sexual scenes, drug use and mention of a rape.
I've never been a big fan of Lucky McKee, even though I've only seen a few of his films. He comes of to me as an utterly pretentious, man-tool feminist. And this mess of a "film" is no exception. There's nothing funny or clever here. We're presented with a cast completely consisting of truly fathomable characters. We're also expected to overlook ridiculous things like the idea that magic, glowing rocks bring a group of air-headed cheerleaders back to life with an inexplicable (and unexplained) taste for blood. So we have a bunch of surprisingly average looking girls (who's acting skills aren't much better) wandering around, glowing like light-brites as they suck the blood out of jocks with the wretched power of CGI. Dismal stuff with no redeeming values. Please spare yourself, and don't give this guy any more of your money. Horror cannot be achieved through metaphorical, feminist crap like this.
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