All Cheerleaders Die (2013) Review: Mean Girls Meets The Craft
“You can’t kill their spirit.”
Synopsis: A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle.
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Lucky McKee‘s All Cheerleaders Die is what you’d get if you crossed Mean Girls with The Craft. But despite the high school horror comedy vibe, there’s a darker emotional current under this movie that neither Mean Girls nor The Craft attempted. The movie is definitely heavy on gratuitous babes, nudity, gore, and lesbians, and there’s no false advertising on that front – but those who go into the movie expecting just banal fun may find themselves accidentally joining the #MeToo movement.
As you’d expect from the title, All Cheerleaders Die features a group of cheerleaders (including Brooke Butler and Reanin Johannink) and two outcasts (Caitlin Stasey and Sianoa Smit-McPhee) getting into trouble – in this case, taking on the football team and becoming zombies. And like both of the movies mentioned above, this is a very female-heavy movie. There aren’t really any guys present for male watchers to sympathize with or see themselves in. But since a large part of the appeal of this movie lies in its excessive objectification of the main actresses, a lot of male viewers won’t have a problem with that.
All Cheerleaders Die is an exercise in contradictions – dumb but intriguing, shallow but with depth. It’s not Shakespeare, and the effects are pretty laughable, but there’s a charm to it. Not only will you laugh with as well as at this movie, but there are even a few scenes you’ll remember for a while.
Unfortunately, in the last act All Cheerleaders Die’s surprisingly solid performance falters. It may seem strange to gripe about the ending of such a mediocre movie, but guys: this ending is a massive let down. Despite a fairly easy path to providing the protagonist and the audience some cathartic release, the movie skips right past that option in favor of some “deus ex magicka.” And on top of that, there’s a last minute cliffhanger shoehorned in to set up a sequel. All in all, a horribly disappointing end to what was otherwise a worthwhile little flick.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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