Dying to be a Cheerleader (2020 Lifetime)
Director: Tom Shell
Written by: David Chester
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When the new girl in town tries out for her high school’s cheerleading team, she unwittingly humiliates the most popular girl in school, leading to deadly consequences.
Darcy is thrown in the trunk of a car and tied up. She is taken to an abandoned house by another cheerleader with a can of gasoline and an Amazon’s hoodie.
Darcy, a baritone with a unibrow, moves in with her Aunt Cassandra after her mom dies from alcoholism. She is the new girl at school and watches cheerleaders practice. The squad is rude to the only back girl on the team, Tracy. She breaks her leg when the practice is over and accuses Madison of tripping her. Darcy decides to try out for the squad “The Amazons.”
We get a tryout montage, and Coach Phillips only selects one girl. April and Taylor run things on the squad and are the mean girls. They watch on and are threatened when Coach Phillips picks Darcy. Taylor threatens to tell the school board about Coach Phillips sleeping with the MARRIED Principal and forces Coach Phillips to pick Holly instead.
Darcy and Tylor get into a physical fight when Taylor thinks that Darcy is hitting on her boyfriend. They have to serve detention. Brandon is disgusted with Taylor’s behavior and breaks up with her. Madison gives Darcy a bit of advice; she tells her to get on Taylor’s good side if she knows what is good for her. It is true because Madison is murdered in the locker room shower right after.
Taylor is next on the hit list, apparently. She opens her locker and is hit with a red paint balloon. She blames Darcy, and they get into another fight. Taylor is so rude and such a bully. She blackmails the Principal who tries to discipline her.
Coach Phillips adds Darcy to the team and laughs off Taylors blackmail attempts because the Principal has filed for divorce. The coach tells the little brat that she will not be having any of her power games.
At a candlelight visual for Madison, Darcy, and Taylor make up and agree to work things out. April sees and looks exceptionally jealous. Someone steals the drone from Darcy’s locker. The next day a drone flys by Taylor while she is running. Then it knocks Brandon off his skateboard, and Cassandra calls 911. Then two lady detectives question Aunt Cassandra because she owns a drone. They think Darcy is responsible for the drone attack because she has a criminal record.
After some very lame cheerleading, Darcy and Taylor have kicked off the team for fighting. Darcy talks to her friend Warren and they kiss. She asks him to go on a date with her. The date is low key and boring. Aunt Cassandra is overly concerned about Darcy’s whereabouts.
Meanwhile, April tries to help Taylor develop a plan, but had to take her anxiety medication. Instead, she throws her pills around the room and curls into the fetal position.
Coach Phillips is strangled in her car after hooking up with the Principal in a sleazy motel. Then the killer BLOWTORCHES her cellphone?!?!?! Okay, Lifetime, that is a new one.
The news about Coach Phillips is on the morning news, and Aunt Cassandra demands to know what is going on with Darcy. She questions her niece while she is wearing a towel on her head. I didn’t even pay attention to the scene because it was so random and distracting. Haha.
Taylor calls a cheer meeting and wants the team to come together for Coach Phillips. Darcy tells them that she is leaving the school and wishes them well. April tells Taylor she will take care of Darcy. Then she gets a text from her mother to “take her meds.”
Darcy writes a letter to Aunt Cassie and runs away. Before she can get far, she is kidnapped. We are back at the beginning of the movie. Aunt Cassie finds the letter and suitcase and knows something is wrong. She goes to the school and talks confronts Taylor. Taylor realizes that April meant kill Darcy when she said, “Take care of Darcy.”
April is obsessed with Taylor is going to set Darcy on fire because she was mean to her BFF. April admits to killing Madison while she dumps gasoline all over the place. Aunt Cassie shows up with Taylor and breaks into the house. She smells gasoline, but is hit in the head with a fire poker by April. Taylor stops April from killing Aunt Cassie.
April holds Taylor at knifepoint and admits to killing everyone because of things Taylor said. April tells Taylor that she loves her, but has to kill her because she knows too much. Darcy unties herself and hits April in the head. They struggle on the floor and April stabs her with a pocket knife. April dies and Darcy is found standing over the body.
One month later, Warren throws a birthday party for Darcy. She is upstairs having a random flashback to her mother’s death? Taylor stops by for the birthday party and they celebrate together.
Minority Report: Tracy, Holly, Detective Martinez
Could have done with more Lifetime hunks in this movie and less generic mental heath depictions of “CRAZY.”
🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime