Combustible Celluloid
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With: Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler, Amanda Grace Cooper, Reanin Johannink, Tom Williamson, Chris Petrovski, Leigh Parker, Nicholas S. Morrison, Jordan Wilson, Felisha Cooper
Written by: Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson
Directed by: Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 90
Date: 06/13/2014

All Cheerleaders Die (2014)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Rah Meat

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Lucky McKee made a most auspicious horror debut with the wonderful May (2002), but he has tumbled a long way down with All Cheerleaders Die, which is based on his early short film, and is co-directed with Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me). Some have seen this movie as a sly satire on the lowly roles of women in horror films, but at the same time, it's actually a horror movie about women occupying those same roles.

When cheerleader Alexis dies during practice, her football player boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson) quickly moves on to another girl in the squad, Tracy (Brooke Butler). Outcast girl Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) was a childhood friend's of Alexis, and horrified by these events, decides to join the cheerleading squad and get revenge. She begins seducing Tracy and driving a wedge between the new lovers. Things are going according to plan when an argument at a party leads to a terrible accident. A wiccan girl, Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee), who loves Maddy, uses a spell to give things a bizarre, new supernatural twist. Will things ever be normal again?

The movie makes a cursory attempt at some character arcs for its five cheerleaders, but they don't go very far. Occasionally, some awful men characters die at the hands of the women, but the women never stop getting the short end of the stick. Equally disturbingly, the lead male character is an African-American, and is totally evil, treating women violently and with contempt. On top of it all, the movie looks and sounds junky and muddled, the visual effects are below par, and the jokes land with a thud.

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