Undercover Cheerleader closes out Lifetime’s Cheer, Rally, Kill line-up with a murder mystery and a high school journalist trying to get the scoop.
Lifetime wraps up its cheerleading movie special with Undercover Cheerleader starring When Calls the Heart star, Kayla Wallace. As far as I know, the story of a high school girl going undercover as a cheerleader to expose an abusive coach on the school newspaper is not based on a real story although it would make for a gripping young adult novel.
Autumn (Wallace) transfers to a new school. While there, she befriends the newspaper editor, Kara. Kara and Autumn come up with an idea for Autumn to go undercover on the cheerleading squad and expose all the supposed hazing.
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Out of all the cheerleading movies Lifetime stacked up over the past two weeks, Undercover Cheerleader is one of the more entertaining ones, but it does have a few traditional “Lifetime” moments.
5. A former dance team member joins the cheerleading team.
I think every new cheerleading movie began with a new girl going to school, which was formerly on the dance team and forced to make do with the cheer team. Why? Are dance teams that hard to find? Does no one want to be a cheerleader anymore?
Was their dancing skills the only way to showcase they had what it took to become part of the squad? At first, I thought it was a coincidence when it happened in two films, but then it happens in at least three of them including Undercover Cheerleader!
4. Somehow terrible coach stays employed for years despite hazing.
Coach Dot is a menace. No, she doesn’t turn out to be the film’s main antagonist (surprisingly), but she explicitly tells her girls to lose weight, eat laxatives and force Megan into doing a dangerous stunt with no training. How on earth did she stay employed for all these years?
It’s a question a couple of characters ask in the movie, but we never get a good reason to explain it. Then suddenly Coach Dot is not a threat anymore and vanishes during the second half of the film. I guess you do need to throw in some red herrings!
3. Mean girls are mean, but not that mean.
Beyond Coach Dot, Jenny is the other antagonist presence in the film. She is Undercover Cheerleader‘s stereotypical mean girl, or is she? Jenny disappears in the second half of the movie after losing captain.
At the end of the movie, she’s a water girl? It’s never really explained. Jenny seems like your typical Regina George, but she is genuinely upset when Heidi dies, and she’s never a serious murder suspect.
2. Don’t drink tea!
If anyone in any Lifetime ever offers you a drink in pointed language, you’re either at a teen party or being drugged by the secret movie villain revealed in a third act twist. It should go without saying, but you don’t drink the tea. Plus, who serves their friends in posh teacups these days anyway? Couldn’t Kara pull a couple of sodas out of the fridge?
1. Shovel to the head.
The movie ends with an iconic moment, both from Lifetime movies and plenty of scary movies too. When your protagonist is about to be strangled to death by the film villain, make sure you’ve got someone coming with a robust right swing to nail them with a shovel to the back of the head.
I guess Autumn’s mother braved the flight in all the inclement weather and got there just in time to keep her daughter from becoming Kara’s latest victim. That leads our movie kill count at only 1! RIP, Heidi, you were adorable.