Horrortoberfest ’21 Day 12 – All Cheerleaders Die (2013)

When I was discussing the idea of doing a week on queer horror, someone suggested that I look into doing this movie. I had never heard of it before but I trust the people on our Discord to generally know what they’re talking about. Which is why I just put it on the list without finding anything else about it and it went in all sorts of ways I wasn’t expecting. I can say upfront that I recommend the movie and think going in without knowing anything makes for a great amount of WTF moments. If you don’t want to get some of the weird twists spoiled, watch it first then come back but know Content Warning: rape (not fully seen).

The plot for All Cheerleaders Die has a LOT going on but I’ll try to give you the basic idea. When Lexi dies doing a cheerleading stunt while getting filmed by her friend Maddie, a chain of events is set in motion. Maddie decides to get revenge on the cheerleaders but especially Lexi’s ex Terry and his new girlfriend Tracy. Everything is going to plan on ruining their lives when things get a bit too intense and the cheerleaders end up dying. That’s just the start of their problems, though, as Maddie’s girlfriend resurrects them all into undead babes with strange powers and a hunger for blood. Things continue to get weirder from there.

All I can say from watching this is that it feels so much closer to what I wanted Jennifer’s Body to be. A fun, campy, horror/comedy with casual queer representation where a wronged woman gets some supernatural revenge. The victims in this are done in the classic horror style such that you are rooting for them to get got. When a cheerleader drains the life out of a football player that literally drove her to death; you feel a sense of bloody justice. When Jennifer murders an innocent guy that’s crying about the loss of his best friend; the rest of the movie trying to make you feel bad for her falls a little flat. This movie also features an actual girl/girl couple instead of just a single kiss and a throwaway line.

The writing is clever without needing to have everyone constantly quipping and the motivations for the characters feel more grounded even while the plot itself is completely bonkers. The character growth for Maddie, especially in relation to Tracy, is great to see and you come to understand as she does that her anger there is misplaced. Terry is such a good main villain as he ends up escalating further and further and the movie goes on. Which is good because the movie itself keeps escalating things beyond where I figured it would go. One of the best things about this film is that it could have coasted on a simple premise but it just kept making these wild turns into different territory.

I definitely enjoyed this and would recommend a watch for anyone that, like me, hadn’t heard of this when it came out. It’s got some blood but not enough to make anyone that has an issue with gore squeamish and isn’t big on scares, making it an decent choice to watch with someone that normally isn’t a horror fan.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

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