Tiera Skovbye (L) and Kerri Medders cheer on their lives in ‘Bring It On: Cheer or Die’. Photo courtesy of Syfy
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7 (UPI) — Kerri Medders said the new film, Bring It On: Cheer It On Or Diepremieres Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT on Syfy, challenged it as a horror movie and as a cheerleading movie.
“Halloween and that time is my season,” Medders, 22, told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. “So it’s pretty awesome to be able to be in that area in this iconic franchise.”
Medders plays Abby, a cheerleader who attends an all-night rehearsal with her team. When a killer takes out the cheerleaders one by one, Abby must step in and become the captain.
“I liked that Abby was very understated throughout the movie until it was really time to take center stage,” Medders said. “At the same time, I think she was very inclusive in making sure everyone felt like they were a team.”
As the survivors confront the killer, they use their cheer routines to fight him off.
“I like to call it a catfight scene of glee,” Medders said. “We just incorporated all the moves we had during cheering camp and then used them in sparring form.”
Director Karen Lam said she took inspiration from martial arts movies for the pep fights.
“You always have a special move at the end,” Lam said. “With our choreographer, Tony Gonzalez, I kept saying, ‘OK, Kung Fu, [we’re] doing martial arts here.”
the original Bring it onstarring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku and Gabrielle Union, was theatrically released in 2000. Universal made five more home video sequels.
Lam said she initially had reservations about making a Bring it on horror movie. Lam directed the horror movies Evangeline, The Curse of Willow Song and a segment in Shevengeamong other short films.
After Lam was able to give her thoughts on the script, she said, the idea of a fun horror movie appealed to her.
“It was basically about giving and paying homage to the original Bring it on franchise,” Lam said. “And yet also make sure it has enough horror in it to hopefully be a good Halloween special.”
Lam said that as she developed the horror side of the film, she watched her actors practice and tailored the script to their abilities.
“We wanted the horror to be based on joy,” Lam said. “It was wrong in full Saw. I’m not trying to do a full horror movie.”
Medders, who had no formal dance training, said she practiced the cheer routines for three weeks before filming and continued during filming.
“I was texting everybody, the actors, and I was like, ‘So who can perform this pep routine with me in the park? ‘” Medders said.
Lam said she was impressed that her cast worked overtime to learn the cheer routines.
“I would even come out at the end of the day from the cheer camp, and they were always doing pyramids on the grass,” Lam said. “Even though you are technically [working] 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., you were basically 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., from what I could see.”
Bring It On: Cheer It On Or Die is also available on DVD, Blu-ray and video on demand.