DIRECTOR Lucky McKee; Chris Sivertson WRITER Lucky McKee; Chris Sivertson STARS Sidney Allison; Charon R. Arnold; Shay Astar SCREENING Today at 10.30, 12.45 & 15.45
All Cheerleaders Die — a remake of director Lucky McKee’s own low-budget 2001 original — feels like a tongue-in-cheek homage to nineties high-school teen horror, but its deliberate clichés fall short of the satirical qualities that made it such a distinctive and beloved genre.
The plot, a cross between The Craft and Carrie, is simple: after a group of cheerleaders nosedive off a cliff and into a river, Leena, a teenage witch and one of the aforementioned cheerleader’s former lesbian lovers, resurrects their mangled corpses so they can exact violent revenge on the jocks who left them for dead. The price of reanimation, of course, is the need to feast on the flesh of the living.
The film’s stereotypical goths, stoners, cheerleaders and jocks are reminiscent of classics like Scream and The Faculty, but the dialogue and the characters are more like an echo of the stereotypes which can be found in these teen horrors than a genuine attempt to tackle themes of social anxiety and subculture tensions. As a result, the protagonists are hollow instead of satirical. There is also a surprisingly low volume of macabre deaths packed into the film’s 90 minutes, although the bear trap pit in the closing sequence can easily rival the syringe pit in Saw 2 in grisliness. All Cheerleaders Die isn’t a bad parody of high-school horror, in short, but it sadly doesn’t add anything new to the genre.