It’s a dangerous life, being a cheerleader.
Most people already know that from watching countless horror movies and Lifetime films. Of course, I know that because my sister was a cheerleader and she told me about all of the dangerous things went on once the cheering stopped. I was often invited to become a cheerleader when I was in high school. At the time, I refused because I wanted to carve out my own identity and all of that other good stuff. Looking back, though, I should have refused because apparently, there’s nothing more dangerous than being a cheerleader in high school.
Take Cheer Squad Secrets, for instance. In this film, Coach Nina (Anita Brown) is so obsessed with winning a championship and also so haunted by her own traumatic experiences as a cheerleader that she ends up giving the members of the squad steroids in order to make sure that they’re always performing at 110%. Unfortunately, steroids also leads to mood swings, violence, sprained arms, and potential jail time! Nina, however, is so obsessed with winning a championship that she’s even willing to commit murder to make sure that everyone gets their “supplements.” She shows no hesitation when it comes time to stab a drug dealer to death. And when it looks like some bothersome bystander might reveal the squad’s secrets, Nina promptly drowns her in a swimming pool.
And you know what? It’s easy to say that Coach Nina is crazy and that she’s taking things too far but Nina gets results! I mean, I made my sister watch this movie with me and she agreed that Nina was definitely putting together a championship-worthy squad. Nina may have been a bit intense and she may have been a bit unconventional in her methods but isn’t that what we want from our teachers? Don’t we want teachers and coaches who will do anything to help our children succeed?
Well, Kelly Regan (Margaret Anne Florence) isn’t quite as enthused about Nina’s methods as perhaps some parents would be. Kelly was a cheerleader when she was in high school. In fact, she was such a great cheerleader that she’s something of a legend. Her daughter, Amelie (Karis Cameron), wants to live up to her mom’s example. Kelly is overjoyed when Amelie becomes a cheerleader but she’s less happy once the violent fights start to break out. I guess it’s understandable but seriously, Nina is doing what she has to do. I mean, doesn’t Kelly want Amelie to go to college on a cheerleading scholarship?
Anyway, Cheer Squad Secrets was an enjoyably silly melodrama. I’m going to enjoy any film that mixes steroids with a crazy coach who occasionally has conversations with the ghost of her younger self. I mean, really, who wouldn’t? Anita Brown gives an appropriately intense performance as Coach Nina and director David Langlois does a good job of embracing the melodrama. A good Lifetime film will always push the limits of how far it can take its storyline and Cheer Squad Secrets certainly does that. This is a good one to watch for the next time you need an extra push to succeed.