Story: Maisy (Joelle Farrow) has transferred to a new school, but not because of a move, instead she wants to attend her late sister’s old school. Her sister died in an apparent suicide, but Maisy believes that wasn’t the case and she hopes she can find answers if she investigates at the school. She joins the cheer squad soon after school starts and right off, she connects with her fellow cheerleaders and begins to ask around about her sister. Although she is told that her sister had issues with depression and an eating disorder, Maisy still moves forward, unconvinced about the situation. She also notices that some of the squad rolls in grand style, with fancy clothes and high end cars, so she veers off her investigation to look into what’s going on with the cheerleaders. But is she prepared for a world of sex, prostitution, and internet voyeurism?
Entertainment Value: I wouldn’t rank Webcam Cheerleaders alongside Lifetime’s upper tier of thrillers, but it does have solid b movie fun at times, though it proves to be too inconsistent to build real psycho momentum. The narrative is derivative of other Lifetime thrillers, but it works well enough, though the approach taken removes some tension from the experience. No real surprises or even an attempt to pull a wild twist, you know pretty much what’s going on from the start, save some revelations made that don’t impact the main thread. The draw for me was when the performances tank or the drama is dialed up, with more of the former present than the latter. Some performers are wooden, others seem bored, and some put in genuine effort, so it is an interesting mix and one that never balances out, instead it just shifts from scene to scene. I found this to be humorous, as the lesser turns sometime turn the material into a comedy, even in some dark moments. So sometimes, Webcam Cheerleaders can be tense and serious, then it feels like an over the top b movie and believe me, I wish it would have committed and run with the wackiness. Even so, there is enough b movie charm to appeal to those who like the wilder Lifetime thrillers, so it earns a mild recommendation.
This movie has some memorable performances, though not always memorable in the positive sense, of course. George Thomas has an odd turn in Webcam Cheerleaders, with perhaps the most wooden performance of all time as far as primary characters in a Lifetime thriller. That’s quite a claim, but you simply need to watch for yourself, as he is stiff and wooden throughout, which makes the dialogue often hilarious in unintended ways. He delivers some very serious lines that turn laughable, while it is hard to take him seriously as a threat, because he is such a goon here. I also couldn’t stop watching Ash Catherwood’s hair in this movie, it just demands attention and I was never able to solve the mystery of his coif, sadly. Krista Bridges has the best performance from a traditional perspective, with some emotion and genuine presence at times. The cast also includes Hannah Galway, Joelle Farrow, Jon Welch, and Tiara Johnny.
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I saw this movie last year, and while it’s clearly far from a perfect TV film, I couldn’t stop watching it.