Dirs/scr: Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson. US. 2013. 90mins


A smartly bloody horror comedy that has enough blood’n’gore to satisfy late-night horror fans, the cheerfully scary All Cheerleaders Must Die ticks lot of the right low-budget horror boxes without ever really setting the world alight.

All Cheerleaders Die is a cheerfully bloody romp that blends sex appeal with some smart comedy gore.

This engaging horror comedy from directors Lucky McKee (May, The Woods) and Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me) is rather familiar in a Buffy The Vampire Slayer sort of way – witches, cheerleaders, high-school antics etc – but with a higher gore quota. The film, which premiered in Midnight Madness at Toronto, will likely feature heavily on the genre festival circuit but a lack of star names may make it a harder sell for theatrical release.

Rebellious Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) is intent on bring down the too-cool-for-school cheerleader elite at Blackfoot High and tries to infiltrate their squad at tryouts. But things go dangerously wrong at a party out in the woods with the football team hunks – led by team captain (Tom Williamson) – get into a tussle with the girls, leading to a high-speed chase that goes wrong for the cheerleaders.

‘Help’ comes in the form of Maddy’s wiccan ex-girlfriend Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee, sister of Cody) who uses her supernatural powers – and some handy magical gems – to bring the girls back to life, with them setting out on a mission of revenge against the brutish boys.

The film is a remake of the directors’ own shot-on-video 2001 horror film – of the same name – shot by the directors after graduating from USC, and All Cheerleaders Die is a cheerfully bloody romp that blends sex appeal with some smart comedy gore.  The cast are all  relative unknowns (though Australian star Caitlin Stasey was in 2010’s Tomorrow When The War Began) and while at heart the film is really blend of Buffy and The Craft, there is a degree of fun to be had along the way. The ending also promises a sequel.

Production company/contact: Modernciné, www.moderncine.com

Producers: Andrew van den Houten, Robert Tonino

Executive producer: Arrien Schiltkamp

Cinematography: Greg Ephraim

Editors: Ben La Marca, Zach Passero

Production designer: Krista Gall

Music: Mads Heldtberg

Main cast: Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler, Tom Williamson, Reanin Johannink, Amanda Grace Cooper, Leigh Parker, Jordan Wilson, Nicholas S. Morrison, Chris Petrovski