All Cheerleaders Die is currently available on instant Netflix.
All Cheerleaders Die (2013) – Not rated
“When a high school outsider joins the pep squad to carry out a vendetta, supernatural forces intervene — and a ghoulish battle of the sexes ensues.”
“There’s only one outcome when people play games with me, Maddy. They lose.” – “Play time’s over”
“Tracy that was like a week ago. I didn’t know you then.”
All Cheerleaders Die starts off as a somewhat typical cheerleader story, albeit one where the lead cheerleader dies tragically a few minutes in. The football players are dogs and the cheerleaders are bitches (no, really, that’s what they call themselves). Maddy is trying to fit in (or is she?) and forgets about her old friend, Leena, who happens to practice witchcraft.
Then, one night before school, an incident gets wildly out of hand. There is a huge fight between the cheerleaders and football players. A car chase and an unexpected supernatural event close out the first act. The film then turns into a very entertaining black horror comedy.
The special effects throughout are very low rent but usually serviceable. Performances, while not great, are actually pretty good for this type of low-budget fare. Yes, most of the ‘kids’ look quite a bit older than high school age but that’s not unexpected.
If you like your horror movies with a feminist slant then this will fit the bill. Writer/director Lucky McKee’s other film on Netflix, The Woman, is an extremely difficult watch and I don’t recommend it.
Mine Games (2012) – Not rated
“When a group of friends find a remote abandoned mine and decide to explore, their excitement turns to fear as they’re hunted by a mysterious force.”
The beginning of Mine Games is not at all promising. Almost every teen slasher cliche in the book occurs within the first fifteen minutes. The title opens as “The Evil Within”, not Mine Games. The Mine Games title is very clever whereas The Evil Within is terribly generic.
We start with what appears to be a dead body lying in a creepy mine. We then travel to another part of the mine where a woman is held captive behind a barred door. Cut to the usual group of twenty-something victims buying snacks on their way to a camping adventure. A headline on a newspaper reports a couple of recent murders. One of the young people is a medium and another is on medication that they may or may not have remembered to take.
They drink. They realize they might be lost then they may or may not have hit someone that they abandon. The vehicle breaks down. Obviously there is no cell phone reception. This is just six minutes in – kudos for the speed run. Shortly after that we hit the young couple having sex, the abandoned cabin in the woods, the exploration of the creepy mine, the splitting up of the group, and the guy who brought psychedelic shrooms tropes.
While this is completely eye-rolling, once the movie gets them out of the way, it turns into a fairly interesting mystery. I will say that while none of them are a standout, the young actors acquit themselves well. This is another pretty good low-budget horror movie to take a look at.