Saturday, August 9, 2014
ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE (2014)
Written & Directed By: Lucky McKee, Chris Silvertson
Cinematography By: Ben Ephraim
Editor: Ben La Marca & Zach Passero
Cast: Caitlan Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler, Tom Williamson, Amanda Grace Cooper, Reanin Johannick, Chris Petrovski, Felisha Cooper, Michael Bowen, Shay Astar
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.
As I was watching this film I couldn’t help but think. How the mighty have… taken a misstep, Though not really. This film plays into one of the directors lucky McKee's playhouse. While not as serious as his previous efforts, this one is surprisingly lightweight for the gruesome material and makes way for some heavy themes eventually. It would be too easy to blame co-director Chris Silverton whose previous film I KNOW WHO KILLED ME was badly reviewed and bombed. For the diminished quality of this film a remake of their lower budgeted original film. After all with this project Silverton has more to prove. McKee hasn't had luck over the years either, but usually his films were tight in some way shape or form. I will admit to being a fan. An especially big one of his debut film MAY.
This film suffers from the same fate of the previously reviewed CHASTITY BITES. Where it has a somewhat original idea, but it doesn't seem like the film uses the ideas it creates to the best of it's abilities. --It also suffers from being a horror comedy, that isn't funny for the most part and then becomes full on horror. While somewhat trying to keep a ghastly sense of humor.
This film is totally tongue in cheek and seeks more to be a cult film rather than a serious horror film. It also seems that it would more appeal to teenagers with it's humor and innuendo. The type that in the old days you would try to rent at a video store to make it seem like you were a fan of the genre. As the real reason was to see nudity and sex scenes. Though there is little of that, but much talk of it. The film also is so straight forward and moves so fast that luckily it wastes no time, but also it never slows down for us to grasp and care either.
The film reveals it's cards too soon. We know who the villain is almost immediately. So are we supposed to be shocked at his levels of ruthlessness? The film has the right idea of introducing his treachery as maybe a result of being betrayed. Though once he flies too easily off the handle and inspires a characters motivations, but is never clearly explained why a first. It is a tell tale sign and anything that he does after isn't that shocking.
The characters of the cheerleaders are made to be the victims of the film and they are. Then they do horrible things, mostly out of revenge, but one act informs us of their powers and cravings, While still having spilt blood of an innocent themselves. So that it makes it a little hard to feel sorry for them at times. Just at times we see patches of them being deeper characters, but that is quickly dropped and abandoned.
The film has nudity though little of it, but sex is talked about thoroughly. The film has plenty of scenes of scantily clad ladies as well as having them writhe around due to them feeling certain sensations as a group. So when one has sex they all orgasm. Which feels a little excessive, but leads to what is supposed to be a funny scene. Which also proves to be a little too far as when the scene is over it is split with another scene of murder and as the orgasm is achieved in the sex scene. The murder happens and the blood spilt and splashed feels sort of like it's own pornographic money shot. It feels too exploitive. Though like the filmmakers are obviously having fun pushing the limit going for subtle, but being obvious While the effects are serviceable as are the kills. The film tries to give the characters some depth so that we get to know them underneath their roles as cheerleaders and reveal them as humans. Also to make their peril and deaths feel more personal. Though for the most part they are given such one dimension to play, That it never comes through.
Late in the film . There is a revelation, that I am not saying should have been shown instead of telling. It could have felt that a huge revelation, like they should have had been treated with more care or in a scene that could pack a punch. Just as when the revelation is said a second time of that was when the audience learned of it. It might have had a certain power. Though It doesn't matter anyway, as you could see it kind of coming. As this film is pretty predictable. So it allows no scares or real excitement.
The film almost plays like and episode of the show FRIDAY THE 13TH The series with cursed objects. That have special powers but in the end lead to the deaths of others before the owners are succumbed by the objects special powers. By some macabre twist of fate.
The ending leaves room for a sequel. Which in hindsight works to the films favor as it allows this film to be kind of an entrance into the rules of the spell and conditions of it. That are explained and showcased in detail in this film. Which might be why the film is pretty straight forward after an intriguing opening. With it's ending it leaves you puzzled. Though makes me wonder of it is supposed to be similar to an ending for the film THE BATTERY. Where this first film is only an entrance and a back-story for the protagonists as the next film we will explore a whole new world and any conspiracies that go along with it?
Don't get me wrong the film does have it's simple pleasures. It just is disappointing on so many levels also. Though not a complete failure as the filmmakers obviously have skill and you can tell put in work and care.
Grade: C –