Saturday, October 29, 2022

Bring It On: Cheer or Die

Attempting to breathe a little life into the franchise, Bring It On: Cheer or Die crosses genres while offering us a plucky squad of underdog cheerleaders cheering for an over-cautious school 20 years after the competition accident. Starting with the basic cheer formula with the squad working to overcome the odds, the tone shifts into horror when the cheerleaders are taken out one by one after choosing to hold secret practices in the old abandoned high school.

Like the other sequels before it, Cheer or Die fails to capture the fun and wit of 2000's Bring It On. The move to horror can't hide all of the film's obvious shortcomings. Kerri Medders stars as the the squad's co-captain with Alexandra Beaton, Marlowe Zimmerman, Madison MacIsaac, Erika Prevost, Tiera Skovbye, and Sierra Holder and others as mostly interchangeable potential victims.

The film's low budget and setting deliver less cheerleading and no competition aside from the opening (involving the death and aftermath that continues to hobble the cheerleading team to this day) and closing sequences. Attempts to use cheer moves to save their lives come off half-assed and ridiculous in only the most humorless of ways. We do get plenty of characters wandering around the dimly-lit hallways of an old building being hunted by the school mascot before the eventual drawn-out reveal of the motives for the murders.

Director Karen Lam and writers Alyson Fouse, Rebekah McKendry, and Dana Schwartz manage to create a film too dark for fans of the blandly upbeat franchise while offering a horror film neither scary nor campy enough to appeal to horror audiences. And the lame attempt at a (very early) Scream twist ending which devolves into drawn-out mean girl crazytown sequences certainly doesn't help by killing any marginal momentum the film had built up until that point.

  • Title: Bring It On: Cheer or Die
  • IMDb: link

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