The Horror Honeys: Go, Fight, Die!

Go, Fight, Die!

A Supernatural Honey Review - by Suzanne

All Cheerleaders Die (2013)

When I was in high school, I wasn't exactly athletically inclined. Sports mystified me and I wasn't particularly competitive, still, I knew it would be good for me to join something other than an academic club. On a whim, I tried out out for the only "sport" I was capable of, cheerleading. Now, back in my day, cheerleading was not like it is now and we weren't exactly popular. Truth be told, there were only a couple of girls I could even stand. Did I ever wish any of them dead? Probably not, but I sure did want to ruin a few of those bitches.

All Cheerleaders Die is the most recent effort by Lucky McKee, who I am not a fan of. While I do have some affection for May, I'm not particularly impressed with his entire filmography. I think he's a little overrated and I just did not get the hype over The Woman. Needless to say, I honestly had no intention of watching this movie, but curiosity got the better of me and, surprisingly, I was not totally disappointed. 

Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) joins the high school cheer squad, after the death of her friend, in order to ruin the senior year of the football captain and maybe a few of the cheerleaders as well. After an accident, Maddy's witchy friend Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) uses black magic to save the girls, but turns them into blood-sucking creatures who are now all out for revenge. 

During the first 5 minutes of this film, I thought I was in for another "found-footage" experience, starring no-talent pretty people and I was fully prepared to turn it off. I'm glad I pushed past it. 

The first half of the film is probably an accurate representation of current high school politics and the best half. Maddy's reason for infiltrating the popular crowd doesn't really become clear until near the end, but it's a really good one and also something that happens all too frequently these days. While she starts her game with a hatred for everyone involved, she does eventually gain real affection for them.

Initially, everyone comes off as pretty one dimensional, but as the film progress they develop into some interesting characters, especially after the transformation. Certainly no Oscar-worthy performances here, but definitely entertaining. Brooke Butler, who plays Tracy, head cheerleader and girlfriend of the Captain of the football team, starts out as the most vapid and shallow of the group, but as her relationship with Maddy deepens, she becomes an independent, savvy girl, who stands up for herself, rather than following. She quickly became my favorite.

Sadly, my biggest issue with the film is the supernatural stuff. Once that all comes into play, it becomes a little hokey. Magic crystals and CGI bloodletting are not scary. Add in Smit-McPhee's performance as the needy witch, Leena, desperate for Maddy's love and attention, and it's just distracting. If you took that out and just played it out as a straightforward revenge film, it would have worked even better. The transition from drama into horror-comedy was not a smooth one.

Overall, I was entertained by the character relationships and the performances. This does not make me an instant fan of McKee, but I am interested to see if there is an All Cheerleaders Die 2 because, of course, they allude to a continuation at the end.

Supernatural Honey verdict: 3.5 bloody pom-poms out of 5