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Loomis Crowley is testing the underground game Stay Alive with his friends Sarah and Rex. When the game is over, Loomis finds Rex and Sarah dead in their room, and he is pushed by a shadow from the staircase, breaking the banister and hanging the same way he died in the game. Loomis' sister, Emma, gives his game to his best friend, Hutch. They, and his friends Miller, Phineus with his sister October, Swink and Abigail play the game together. When Miller and Phineus die the same way they died in the game, the survivors disclose that the game is based on the life of the evil Countess Elizabeth Bathory. She was buried alive in the tower of her real state in the Geronge Plantation. With the police chasing them, and after the death of October, the survivors reach the house and try to find the corpse of the Countess to destroy her fiend. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I saw "Stay Alive" tonight, and I was surprised to come home and read reviews discounting it as stupid or pointless.
Actually, I think that the plot was fairly substantial and well thought out for a horror movie--especially a PG-13 one. Granted, it probably would have been better as an R version, but there's always a chance for an unrated DVD. This movie made me think AND scared me, which is a combination hard to find. The time line is fairly stable and simple to follow--except parts of the end--which makes for an enjoyable experience. Without worrying about when things are happening, you are free to instead concentrate on WHY they are happening.
I really liked the video game plot--it was entertaining enough just to watch the gamers get so into it! Everything is interconnected, so it kept me interested enough to look past the "jumpy" parts to the underlying meanings and symbolism.
The characters were fairly dynamic and complex, and the acting was much better than I expected. I actually FELT for them, an element often missing from horror films. The procession of events may have been slightly predictable at times, but the characters remained real and believable throughout. I was happy to see that everything wasn't discarded simply in the name of gore.
The lighting was surprisingly good for this genre--every scene was well-lit and easy to make out what was happening. The colors were perfect to set the mood, and the cinematography was on the better side of average: no complaints here.
Overall, although the ending was a bit of a let-down, I believe this is worth seeing if you like horror movies that also make you THINK--it's not all about scares. I'm also a novice gamer, so I might have appreciated it more than a non-gamer--I don't know.
In conclusion--it's worth a shot.
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