Lucky McKee struck horror gold with his extremely popular 2002 film May. May was received as a glittering debut but the writer/director already had a completed horror film under his belt ; the undistributed All Cheerleaders Die (2001). This current incarnation is a remake of McKee and Chris Sivertson’s original concept.
Unfortunately as a sexy horror comedy it has been received as coming a little late to the party. And has been unavoidably compared to 2009‘s Jennifer’s Body which uses the same concept of a beautiful girl seeking undead revenge. Though the concept for All Cheerleaders Die was conceived before Jennifer’s Body so lazy accusations of it being a rip off are unfair. But All Cheerleaders Die has plenty of it’s own sins to atone for..
This a fun film, the concept is snappy and cool – a group of cheerleaders die before their time and come back with a taste for blood and go straight for the jugulars of their jock rivals. But it’s fun concept is pulled down by it’s over emphasized device of magic stones and Wiccan power. The inclusion of glowing crystals and magic incantations gives what initially felt like a naughty gory multiplex film a young adult ‘Goosebumps’ feel. There’s plenty of tongue in cheek exploitation ; girl on girl make out sessions and close up T&A shots. But the film leaves a confused message ; is this a film about girl empowerment that aims to tease, or a film that aims to be about girl empowerment but only teases the concept?
Overall the film is best enjoyed with little analysis. It offers a fun concept and some enjoyable set pieces. It’s a silly, good time but it’s not as smart as it seems to think it is.