Gender politics has always been at the beating heart of horror. While it could be argued that cinema as a whole is preoccupied with the white male experience, no other genre gouges such an indelible gender divide. Scary movies usually embrace the tired tropes of man as predator, woman as victim, or make a point of subverting or satirising them. The problem with All Cheerleaders Die is that it has an uneasy foot in both camps.
A decade after Robert Rodriguez teamed up with graphic novelist Frank Miller to bring Miller’s celebrated Sin City to jaw-dropping life, their follow-up navigates the same schlocky, sweaty, super-stylised path of bloody crime and bloodier retribution.
British actor turned director Richard Ayoade follows up his sublime debut Submarine with the altogether different – but equally as excellent – The Double. His adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1846 novella, co-written with Avi Korine swaps the bleak suburbs of Swansea for the anonymous streets of small town USA and, while protagonist Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) may suffer from the same lack of confidence as Submarine’s Oliver (Craig Roberts, who appears here in cameo), this literal identity crisis is less coming of age social comedy and more dystopian neo-noir.