The Bring It On franchise has been round since 2000, taking viewers into the world of cheerleading.
The seventh entry within the collection, Bring It On: Cheer Or Die, is an entire overhaul, including a slasher factor that was not current within the prior installments.
Director Karen Lam wished to change issues up for followers of the franchise.
“I think of this one as the Halloween special, the way a lot of franchise shows have a holiday-themed stand-alone,” Lam tells TV Fanatic.
“It’s definitely in the horror category, but it’s a throwback to the fun horror from the 80s, and hopefully something that bridges the fans of Bring It On with horror fans who want a film that’s campy and lighter than really dark fare.”
Lam says she considers it the “gateway drug” to horror for teen ladies.
Cheer or Die was Lam’s entry into the franchise, with the director revealing that she had by no means heard of Bring It On earlier than touchdown the mission.
“I’m embarrassed to say that I had never heard of Bring It On until our producer Griff Furst sent the draft of the script…and even then, I had no idea what it was until he told me to watch the first one,” Lam remembers.
“But after watching the OG, I could see why it was such a beloved film — and why it was a franchise. It was so smart and charming and ahead of its time.”
“But now I’ve seen all the films, and also Cheer on Netflix and countless YouTube channels of behind-the-scenes competitive cheer!”
Lam notes that making the film PG-13 was a departure from her earlier R-rated work.
“There was definitely a balance from the type of horror I normally work in, which is a primarily adult audience without a worry about an R-rating,” Lam shares.
“For Bring It On: Cheer or Die, we had a definite mandate of doing a PG-13 horror film that was within an established franchise, so the types of deaths had to be limited as to how much blood or gore we could use, but also in keeping with the setting and the tone of the film.”
“I tried to be less explicit with the violence, so a lot of it was off-camera, using sound effects and quick shots to give the sense that it had more horror than what you actually see,” the director provides.
“Sometimes that has the effect of being a little more intense because it’s working with your imagination.”
Kerri Medders, who performs Abby, was conversant in the franchise, referring to the unique film because the “iconic OG.”
Medders was instantly within the mission as a result of it was very completely different.
“It’s a different approach to the franchise, for sure. I think it’s really cool for them to branch out and incorporate a slasher element,” the star shared.
“Personally, I loved the new take on this franchise because I’m all about the spooky vibes. Match made in heaven.”
Medders describes Abby as “an eager, motivated co-captain who just wants the best for her team.”
The star provides that Abby’s “strength and power is underestimated until she has to step up to the plate.”
Bring It On: Cheer or Die premieres on Syfy Saturday, October 8.
Check out the trailer beneath.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.