Saturday, 27 December 2014

15 Second Review: All Cheerleaders Die

Based on the 2001 film of the same name All Cheerleaders Die feels like a throwback to millennial horror. Indeed, the plot is parts The Source (aka The Secret Craft, 2002), The Craft (1996) and Bring it On (2000). Overtones of Wicked Lake (2008, for which Chris Sivertson wrote the screenplay) do not do enough to bring the reimagining of All Cheerleaders Die into the current horror landscape. I am sure that co-writer/directors Silvertson and Lucky McKee have enormous fondness for the project given that the original All Cheerleaders Die was their debut film. However, the remake is easily McKee’s weakest film to-date (although his track-record is admittedly strong). All Cheerleaders Die aims for “WTF?” in a number of places, but the narrative drags in the middle. The final act picks up the pace, mainly because the script employs the “McKeeism” of establishing an abhorrent antagonist, then tipping the power-balance so far in their favour that there appears to be little hope for the protagonists. McKee uses the same trick in several movies (including The Woman and Red), but it is a powerful dramatic device, nevertheless. The closing moments sent me away with a smile but without cause to forget the weaknesses that plague the movie’s run-time.

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