Review – Universal Studios’ Bring It On: Cheer or Die

Give me an “I”! Give me a “HOPE!” Give me an “I!” Give me a “DIE!” What’s that say?! I hope I die… because that’s how I feel after watching this abortion of cinema.

I don’t understand Hollywood’s current trend of perverting pre-existing series when said films never asked to be perverted in the first place. Killer Santa Claus? OK, I get that one because there’s an enormous amount of material that can make the bringer of joy into the bringer of death. But now we have Killer Grinch, Killer Winnie the Pooh and now Killer Bring It On Cheerleaders. I’m looking at you here, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Just… why?

It’s also concerning that the crew behind this motion picture signed on considering their colorful history in the horror genre. While none of them are Oscar winning movies, director Karen Lam made Evangeline, writer Rebekah McKendry wrote All the Creatures Were Stirring and Griff Furst produced Cold Moon and a dozen entertaining as fuck monster movies. Really, Griff Furst is one of my favorite filmmakers in this genre, but I have questions, respectfully as a fan. Bring It On: Cheer or Die was also produced by Eve Stewart and Tony Gonzales and edited by Lara Mazur and Eric Potter. Interestingly enough, Tony Gonzales returned to the series after producing two prior incarnations.

Kerri Medders, Alten Wilmot, Alexandra Beaton, Sierra Holder, Rudy Borgonia, Makena Zimmerman and Marlowe Zimmerman star in Bring It On: Cheer or Die. Depending on the cast member, they were either bare-able or laughable. But, hey, they got that Universal Studios check, so I’m sure they’re not complaining that I feel a lot of them came off as wooden. Given the material, though, I don’t doubt them for phoning it in.

The plot follows a competitive cheerleading team filled with privileged white kids and their friends of color added solely for inclusivity. The HBIC literally murders one of her teammates during a competition, but that doesn’t stop the cheerleaders for coming back season after season. 20 years later, the murderer’s niece joins the same exact team but doesn’t like the new rules governing the competitors. Instead, they go to an abandoned high school to practice a routine that defies the rules but is sure to bring them first place! Because, clearly, there was nowhere else to practice except for an abandoned high school. Right as they begin fine tuning their routine, a serial killer wearing the cheerleading mascot’s costume starts butchering the athletes one by one. I think you guys know exactly where this is going.

Listen, at its core, Bring It On: Cheer or Die feels like Prom Queen meets Scream Queens. That’s really the only nice thing I have to say because it caters only to youngsters who like cheerleading. It’s not scary. It’s not bloody. It’s not suspenseful. And the first death doesn’t even happen until the 40-minute mark. It’s corny. The soundtrack sounds cheap. There’s absolutely no atmosphere. The decisions made by the characters are laughable even for horror film standards. And the killer’s motive is so bizarre that it just doesn’t make sense. I fast forwarded to the death scenes and third act blood bath, and I still wanted to backflip into a woodchipper.

None of the Bring It On movies were very successful after the fourth one, and I doubt that Cheer or Die is going to break that mold. For the love of God, don’t spend your money on this trash. Watch the first movie with Eliza Dushku or watch an 80’s revenge slasher if you want any of this story in a much better package.

Final Score: 2.5 out of 10

Michael DeFellipo

(Senior Editor)

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