With a late August release date and very little fanfare, my expectations going into this movie were exceedingly low. Having suffered through my share of mediocre, grade-B horror films recently, it was with much trepidation that I made my way into the theatre. Perhaps it was partially due to my lowered expectation, but once the film began I found myself pleasantly surprised.
I’m not sure how to summarize the plot of Lucky McKee’s latest feature film All Cheerleaders Die.
The closest thing I can think to compare it to would be the first Tarantino/Rodriguez From Dusk Till Dawn movie. You start out thinking you’re watching one kind of movie, and all of a sudden you’re watching something completely different.
The selling points of this film for genre fans are obvious. It is a pleasure to see Karen Gillan on screen playing a character different from Amy Pond, and Katee Sackhoff pulls off a role that is haunting with some genuine shock value. The characters are introduced in a manner that is intriguing, and we quickly find ourselves wanting to know what happened and where the story is heading.
CASSADAGA tells the story of Lily Morel (Kelen Coleman), a post-lingually deaf artist, who participates in a séance in the spiritualist community of Cassadaga. But instead of getting closure with her recently departed sister, Lily contacts the vengeful ghost of a murdered woman. As the ghost becomes increasingly angry and violent, Lily rushes to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death – a task that will bring her face-to-face with a sadistic serial killer who turns his victims into human marionette dolls.
If you are a believer in the supernatural or can suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself in the lore of the ZoZo spirit, it’s a spooky little horror movie with some genuinely creepy moments. This is a film that will make you want to avoid playing with Ouija boards, and may leave you wanting to sleep with the lights on after it’s over.
Personally I found it refreshing, and frankly somewhat of a relief, how fully this Thor movie was willing to be something of an exercise in high fantasy. I was impressed by just how much of the film took place in Asgard and the nine realms, and how much of the story’s focus was on the gods and their challenges as opposed to the focus being primarily on humanity.
I didn’t expect this to be a movie that was likely to capture the subversive spirit of the original. I was completely taken off-guard by just how much of a good time it turned out to be. There was barely a scene in the film that didn’t have me rolling in my seat with laughter. I found it to be smart, sarcastic, over the top funny, and thoroughly engaging.
I can’t count how many low budget, independent horror films I’ve seen which seem to think they are doing something innovative and cutting edge by filling the screen with the most sickening imagery that the director can dream up, while casting aside niceties such as plotting, pacing, and character development.