2013 / Director. Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
In 2001 Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson were fresh out of college when they made their first feature-length film ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE. It was a no budget amatuer film, shot on video. Clearly demonstrating a talent, that micro film launched McKee to the big league with his impressive horror film MAY following one year later. He has continued to forge a reputation as a horror maestro with subsequent films like THE WOODS, RED and THE WOMAN (written by Jack Ketchum and a sequel to OFFSPRING). He has an auter quality about his work and his career has been an exciting one to watch. His original co-director also went on to direct some interesting films, none more impressive than THE LOST (also based on a Ketchum book). And so a decade later they came full circle and set about remaking their original career-launching film. They considered it an opportunity to tell their story on a professional level as well as rejuvenating their careers. The result is a fantastic chiller that mashes classic conventions with modern horror. When a group of cheerleaders are killed at the hands of jocks, lead by a misogynistic douchebag, they are resurrected by the local witch-in-practice and find themselves back at school and craving blood. The blood lust in CHEERLEADERS MUST DIE suggests that it's a vampire film but its much more of a witchcraft story with nods to classic zombie movies like RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. The two leads of the film are both Aussies (and Neighbours alumni), Caitlin Stasey and Sianoa Smit-McPhee. My hatred for Caitlin Stasey was a hard thing to overcome. I find her public persona to be ignorant, juvenile and attention seeking. Everything she says and does makes me angry and so while it's wonderful to see two Aussie chicks leading such a film, it's a shame she has to be one of them. Sianoa Smit-McPhee, on the other hand, is fantastic. This is basically her film and she outshines everyone else in it. She plays a deliciously decadent teen-witch. Almost everything about ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE is spot on. It all hits the mark and plays out like a smart, jovial and self-aware horror film. If you enjoyed JENNIFER'S BODY a couple of years ago then you are bound to enjoy this. Both share a very similar aesthetic and offer the modern teenagers with something both classic and new.