- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: All Cheerleaders Die

Also known as:

Year: 2013

Genre: Comedy / Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 90 min

Director: Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson

Writer: Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson


When a cheerleader dies a tragic death and a slot opens up in the squad, an outsider girl attempts becoming a cheerleader to take down the captain of the football team. But once she has gotten into the group, she and the other cheerleaders are in an accident that takes a supernatural turn...

Our thoughts:
"All Cheerleaders Die" is a remake of the 2001 title of the same name, by the same filmmakers, Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson, both which have made a few things since. McKee became a familiar name soon after when he made the cult favorite "May" and more recently made the quite popular "The Woman" based on Jack Ketchum's novel. Sivertson is not as recognizable, but you might have seen the Lindsay Lohan thriller "I Know Who Killed Me" (I haven't) or "Wicked Lake" which he was a writer on (I haven't). I haven't seen their original feature, but "All Cheerleaders Die" is a horror comedy with a few dark moments to it, but ultimately feels like "The Craft" meets "Idle Hands". What I'm trying to say, I just realized, is that "All Cheerleaders Die" is a 90's teen horror in disguise.

Mäddy is an outsider who decides to join the cheerleading squad after one of the cheerleaders dies tragically in a failed cheerleading formation. Mäddy doesn't actually want to be a cheerleader - but she has an evil plan to get in the way of the captain of the High School football team, and this is her first step to take him down. But Mäddy gets into her role as a cheerleader and starts hanging out with the rest of them, and one night after a party they're all in a car accident and die. Mäddy's old wiccan friend witnesses the aftermath of the crash and attempts to bring them back with a ritual. The cheerleaders are back and they are out to destroy the people who got them in the accident.

There are good and bad parts about "All Cheerleaders Die". The most important thing is that I had an enjoyable time watching this with my wife, but I don't know if I would have been as entertained on my own. The comedy is quirky and a bit weird but that's part of what makes it fun. It's not laugh-out-loud funny but it is funnier than expected. A lot of horror comedies fail at giving a unique personality to the comedy, but this one did a good job at mixing its dark theme with a lighthearted teenage rivalry flick.

One of the major things that bothered me was that they insisted on having horrible glowing CGI effects when the "spell" is doing its job, when it could easily have been left to our imagination. The glow quickly made me think I was watching "Cheerleader Ninjas", to give you an idea of its quality. Another issue is that we aren't really given enough time to understand our characters and know their personalities, so when they are finally "returned", there are some bits that just stand out as random when in reality they're part of their characters. It's part my fault for missing something, but I can't help but blame the movie for pushing a lot of people onto us (cheerleaders, jocks and a few people around them) and then quickly turning it on its head. A few similar issues keep this as just a fun movie for a boring night, instead of a brilliant genre-bender.

I think that "All Cheerleaders Die" is a fun movie if you're in the right mood. It doesn't reinvent anything, but it comes off as having its own personality. A lot of people have had a problem with the mix of genres (teen comedy, wiccan/occult, supernatural/zombie-esque) and that the comedy breaks a lot of the movie, but for me it was the other way around - this would have been very bland if it was serious. The movie still has problems that keep it from being an instant classic, which I've tried to demonstrate for you, but I will probably check out the sequel if they make one (the ending suggested there will be one).

Positive things:
- Entertaining.
- Has a personality in its comedy.
- I enjoy the mix of genres.

Negative things:
- Horrible CGI.
- Doesn't set up the characters well enough.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 0.5/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 3/5

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