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.
For what it is, this movie rocks! I know it's silly and predictable and even just plain-out awful, but it is ENTERTAINING, and yeah, I had fun laughing at it. Also, Some of it was creepy, but in a very formulaic way. Very fun. You should see it if you want a silly horror movie that doesn't completely suck. The countess was weird-looking, and that was somewhat purposeful because she's a VIDEO-GAME CHARACTER. Malcolm in the Middle was in it -- too bad, I thought that kid was actually good. The house itself is pretty creepy, and the game, if it does or will exist, would be very fun to play. C'Mon! You can't hate it for being bad, it even makes fun of itself! It is really a good hour and a half of...something. Something okay in my book.
STAY ALIVE Rated PG-13 for horror violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexual and drug content. Directed By: William Brent Bell Starring: Jon Foster, Frankie Muniz, Samaire Armstrong, and Sophia Bush Runtime: 85 minutes
TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT
7 out of 10. Not very scary, but it is enjoyable.
THE LONG VERSION
OK. I was not expecting much from this flik from the get-go. Script although more original than most of the crap movies to come out lately, was still nothing ground breaking. And, having a relatively unknown director on the project wasn't giving this film any better buzz. Then the trailer was released, which made this movie look even worse. So today I see a matinée for this film with a friend of mine, and I'm surprised to find myself watching a genuinely interesting film.
Is it scary? Not really. There's a few boo scares thrown around, but none of them really work. I like during some of the creepy scenes how silent it was, but it never really paid off properly.
Is it at least suspenseful? Yes. It is, in fact, very suspenseful. There are some really cool chase scenes, and some pretty decent "what was that!?" moments.
Is it gory? No. The pictures were, as most suspected, quick shots in the film, and you barely saw any of it. This was, of course, to keep this flik pg13. That's annoying, but whatever, I could get over it rather quickly.
Editing, Directing, etc. was all pretty solid, nothing shocking, but nothing horrible either.
And now, to the part most people are probably interested in: How was the video game sequences? Awesome. This is by far the best part of the movie. When it goes into the video game, it gets really cool. The beginning shines best in this particular style the movie goes for. With some creepy "Samara" like ghosts crawling around, and plenty of stabbing, the video game sequences are the scariest and goriest parts of the flik. These are the scenes that truly shine.
So what else can I say? It's an enjoyable flik that floats in mediocrity until the video game sequences. Thats when it shines. Which makes this a 7 rather than a 6 out of 10.
All in all: Not very scary, but suspenseful. A pretty solid film that can entertain you, but there will definitely be haters. I say lean back and enjoy a decent rental (when it's released on DVD that is) It will be worth the 6-8 bucks you pay for it.
Stay Alive is a new game in which you have to stay alive or suffer the consequences in real life, it's a pretty cool concept and one that could have been executed way better than it actually was.
Surprisingly the film is far less cheesy than i figured it would be, the cast are quite convincing, albeit as pretty shallow characters and the direction, editing and general production are adequate enough. What let it down was the way it sets out the rules and then picks which ones it will follow depending on what stage the story was at, contriving every step of the way to make it fit.
It was mildly entertaining to watch and there is a decent sense of tension throughout, although the scares were all a bit cheap and clichéd, and it definitely didn't need the twist at the end, i hope it's not a setup for a sequel.
One of the most fun movies I have had the pleasure of watching this year! But then again, i am a regular movie junkie. The plot line was very gripping and intense. The story behind the countess was just downright spooky and the graphics were amazing! I loved the fact that the game looked so much like all those other horror games out there, like clock tower 3 or sirens.
The only reason I am giving this movie a 7 and not a higher ranking is that there were a bunch of unanswered questions, like 'who exactly made the game and for what reason?' and the most annoying unanswered question 'why did the characters die even before they died in the game?' Otherwise it is very VERY entertaining! I'll think twice before playing a horror genre game!!! ^_^
OK, I actually just saw the movie today and I gotta say: it's not too bad. Yeah, it's not that scary and while the script in and of itself is mildly (very mildly) original, the dialogue and the reactions of the gamers remains hopelessly cliché. That is the world of horror, unfortunately. So, why do I like this movie? Because I didn't go to get scared (obviously, the movie is PG-13), I didn't go to critique it, though I guess that's what I'm doing now. I went to get a good hour and a half of entertainment. And, boy, was I entertained.
Let's start with the premise of the movie. A group of attractive 20-something gamers find this new, underground video game called "Stay Alive" where the objective is the title. Despite the fact that the main character's friend died shortly after playing it, the gamers decide to give it a go. They find the effects creepy and fulfilling, but the fun ends there when one of their group, the main character's boss, dies in exactly the same way as his avatar in the game. It just escalates from there. Now, I'm a big fan of games with an interesting plot, so if this were a game, I would totally play it.
A lot of people were complaining about the CG effects. I liked them. It was supposed to look like a video game. I realize the normal route was to have these characters look real when they step off the computer screen, but I thought it looked so much cooler when it seemed like the game itself was killing you. Some of it seemed far too reminiscent of Japanese horror, but considering that's the trend these days, I let it go. Overall, I loved the fact that the demon children and the crazy Countess looked exactly like the game until the very end.
The characters themselves were fun. You had the goth chick, but what I liked about her was that she wasn't the stereotypical "I'm creepy and dark and depressed" chick that always seems to grace these movies. Then there was her brother, whom I was alternating between laughing at and wanting to hit. The main character, Hutch, I believe, was cute enough that I didn't really care whether or not he was cool. Swink, played by Frankie Muniz, was utterly adorable. The only one that I didn't get was the blonde, Abigail. Why the hell was she there? To create suspense, to be another love interest for Hutch? I really wanted her to be evil. That would have made so much sense in the long run. I mean, she shows up at Loomis' funeral and suddenly becomes buddies with Hutch and then later his new girlfriend after the goth chick dies. That entire relationship I could have done without. I would have absolutely LOVED it if she turned out to be some psycho obsessed with the game or something. But, whatever. She was decent, too.
The only part of the movie that I didn't like, which always drives me nuts, is the fact that they never mention why and how the game was created. The company, apparently, was the plantation itself, but who made it? The Countess? That doesn't make sense to me. I get the idea of mixing an old ghost story with today's technology. I find that fascinating. But how does a Civil War-era ghost come up with the idea of making a video game to further her evil purpose and then manage to go through with it? Also, how did she manage to distribute it after she was supposedly destroyed? If there is one thing that can tie a movie together for me, it's a good backstory.
Other than that, I found the movie enjoyable and I would definitely watch it again when it comes on TV. If you're looking for hardcore horror, look elsewhere. But if you want some fun with a great ghost story, then definitely watch this. If anything, you can have fun with rooting for who dies next.
After seeing the movie, I was freaked out to even go down to my basement in fear that I may see "The Bloody Countess". I was truly freaked out by this movie. The whole storyline of the video game tied in very well. Made it almost believable. The next day I checked the movie out online to find that this was based on the REAL bloody countess, Elizabeth Bathory. I found it quite interesting the life this woman led. That people (NOBLE PEOPLE) can get away with things like this. The depths she would go to, to stay youthful and the harm she put on to so many girls. I would recommend this to anyone to enjoys a heart stopper and to encourage them to check out the real story behind this woman. Quite graphic and gross to be truthful but interesting at the same time.
A group of teenagers discover a bootleg video game, but once they start playing it, they each start dying just like they do in the video game. As they become addicted to the game, they need to find a way to beat the game's central villain, The Blood Countess, before she kills them all.
The premise does sound a little stupid and familiar but this film could have still been mildly entertaining. However, this "horror" movie is not scary at all. It's actually more of a comedy than anything else. The film takes itself way too seriously and the movie is not a lot of fun to watch. Sure, there is the occasional laugh but for the most part, the film is very dull. PG-13 horror films can still be good like The Ring or Cry Wolf. The Ring and Stay Alive aren't really the same type of horror film though. Stay Alive is more of a slasher movie and since its rated PG-13, the death scenes are very tame. It should have been the movie's main sell and since it had an interesting concept the deaths could have been really good. Unfortunately, the studio wanted a bigger audience and the film had to be altered.
The acting is a complete joke and most of the cast give awful performances. Jon Foster is not a very good leading man. He lacks charisma to really engage the audience or for the audience to care about him. His character isn't unlikable just very bland. Samaire Armstrong actually gives an okay performance though a little too bland to truly stick out. Frankie Muniz probably gives the best performance in Stay Alive. That's an honor on the level of being the best player on the Houston Texans. Sophia Bush is absolutely terrible as October. Her performance feels so rushed and so fake. The most annoying character in the movie is Phineas played by Jimmi Simpson. His character is so unlikable you will be rooting for him to die.
In fact, most of the characters are pretty unlikable so that makes it even harder to become interested in the film. It's just hard to feel sorry for some of these annoying kids and it's a lot more fun to watch if you want the characters to actually survive. The only real good thing about the movie is the atmosphere. It's a little old but it still kind of works. The film is also really short so it's not too much of a pain to sit through. I wouldn't really blame the cast though because they were working with an inexperience director and writer. The direction is not very good and the screenplay isn't much better. Stay Alive is actually not the worst horror film of 2006. That honor would go to When a Stranger Calls. Stay Alive is still a missed opportunity though. In the end, this cheesy and lame horror film is better left on the shelf. Rating 4/10.
Stay Alive is a horror film in where the main gimmick is that there is a video game where if you die in, you die in real life. That seems like it would've been a remake of some obscure Japanese horror flick....well it's not. I feel like this movie got a bad rep because it came out during a time when Hollywood attempted to cash in on PG-13 Horror films. If anyone saw the theatrical version, and the uncut version side by side, you'd know your missing out on a lot. A. Lot. Let me warn everyone first off all. Though this may be a horror film, it's not terrifying at all. There is a sense of dread during the whole film, but no real sense of terror. All in all, this movie is a very fun movie. It's one the most cheesiest horror films I've seen for a while. All the actors play their stereotypical characters perfectly. All the kills are very bloody, though there is a bit of CGI (IF you watched the Uncut version.) The video game scenes are amazing. I kind of wished at times that there would be a few more video games scenes since they were made so well. This movie is a great B-movie. If you like B-movies, then yeah...watch it.
Pretty good movie for what I believe, good plot, good actors, good story. Can;t expect anything else from a good horror movie like this one.
Obviously it's about a video game, and not a normal one. I play a lot of video games myself and I haven't seen one like this in all my years of gaming experience. Basically, you die in game, you die in real life.
Pretty simple, I'm not going to get into the major details about this, plot is easy to understand. About a women who tortured young girls and bathed in their fresh, hot blood to become younger. Until she was caught and burned in her tower. Until a man found out about her and decided, with his sick and demented mind, to make a video game about it. Which kinda brought her back to life to kill people, as she pleases.
Until a few friends, with perfect and happy lives, decide to play the game. Until they all die, except for a few of the friends. They go through all the trouble to finding out about the game, find the tower, and kill the women once and for all... or do they? It is re veiled at the end of the movie that anyone who plays the game will bring her back to life again, and it is all over the shelves.
Graphic wise, it isn't that graphic I believe. There are some parts that leave you hanging, and there is average blood, but nothing too big. They don't show much. Scary wise, it jumps a lot, and sometimes it is unnecessary. Other than that, not really, but you do jump a lot.
I haven't laughed so much in a theater in years. The only problem is that it was not the intent of the movie to make my throat raw from laughter.
This movie is absolutely overflowing with bad CGI, absolutely terrible duologue, absolutely terrible *acting*, and enough geek references to make the whole thing come off as nothing but complete cheese.
As a gamer and a geek-type girl myself, I did recognize all of the obvious game references in this movie as well as the geek STUFF that was just thrown into the background as eye candy (the Steamboy poster, the t-shirts from thinkgeek.com and j-list.com), and that didn't redeem the movie at all.
The only thing that might have been good at ALL were the ghost children type characters that were purposefully badly done in CGI to make it look like they were from a game, and who were OBVIOUSLY stolen from Japanese horror movies.
To be honest, it was hilariously bad, and something I'd expect from a midnight showing of a made-for-TV b grade Sci-Fi channel movie. Don't expect more than that and you'll have a great time. Just don't get a soda or you'll spit it everywhere when you get great lines like: "Why did you bring that game into our lives?! WHY?!"
I loved this Movie. The cunning special effects and Great actors, combined with a good story line made it very entertaining. The movie was done so tastefully even my wife enjoyed it although she was scared out of her wits for the rest of the Night. I say Bravo to the Producers now just make it into a real game. I've got lots of gamer friends who would love to take a crack at it. I have read many reviews complaining about the Inaccuracies of the movie and story line well, believe it or not its fiction so it shouldn't seem too real. The in movie game was a heck of a lot better planed out then most MMRPG games are today.Id give the movie a 10 but it could have been just a bit more frightening.
I really enjoyed the film. First off, whenever I go to see a horror film, I never set the expectations high because no horror film is usually up for an Oscar right? But this one really surprised me. Taking the film for what it's worth (a horror film) I think it's really good. The biggest perk for me was the fact that it kept me interested. There is one major setback, the plot is laced with holes. You will leave wondering how a lot of stuff in the movie happened & have many unanswered questions but if you just want to enjoy a scary film, then this is the one for you.
Also, I think you'll enjoy it if you're a gamer, as I am.
I love a good horror movie and have watched enough to know a good one when i see one. This movie has a plausible plot line and it really blurs the line and breaks all the rules of the usual running of things. To be honest its not believable and it may seem pretty limp at times but it moves fast it doesn't keep you waiting for anything. The acting is good and the characters are all likable. I usually spot the flaws first and the story second but i didn't get chance to think much before something else happened that needed evaluating. By the end of this movie i was pretty scared and needed the light on, if this was a real game I'd be buying it with my next pay cheque. Still shaking give it a chance and see what you think.
As a major horror game fan i loved the fact that this film included references to my favourites "fatal frame" (project zero over here in blighty!) and silent hill... so what if there's a couple of holes in the story? that just makes it even closer to a horror game! how many of you who have actually played silent hill or fatal frame can honestly say it made perfect sense? It just added to my enjoyment of the film, and pointing out similarities in the film from the games made me feel like a big fat nerd :0) but a happily entertained nerd! I liked that it wasn't a slash-em up gross out like the majority of horror films are now, and that the story was based on an actual legend (the story of Elizabeth Bathory, not the characters in the film). Overall, impressed, would recommend it, but not to wusses who get nightmares easily :0D
I loved this movie, just because now a days Hollywood can't make a horror flick without Blood, guts, gore, and nudity. I mean usually I'm against PG-13 horror movies because without the blood and gore they just can't seem to make it work, but with Stay Alive the storyline and plot kept me on the edge of my seat the whole movie. The character development was great, sure some things could of been cut shorter and not so run-on sorta say. But i think for a PG-13 horror movie its awesome. Strong plot that keeps you watching i suggest if you like horror movies without all the bloody gory stuff...Go see this its a great film and i suggest everyone to watch it, it's worth it.
The premise for this movie really isn't too different from other horror movies. Something normal that you wouldn't think could kill you...can. The same basics have been used with movies, the internet, phones, etc, and well now with video games. So then why did I give this movie the rating I did? Well maybe I just really like B horror movies, or being different and liking something that's normally hated. Either way I actually thought this movie was pretty good.
There was a time that I liked playing a lot of video games, so maybe this movie kind of brings that side back to me. Granted I think the visuals they used for the game and just really the game they made up in general are better then most of this movie. It seemed to me that they really worked harder on making the game look cool than making the movie better then it was.
It's time to be nice though. It did what it was suppose to. It kept me entertained and didn't leave me in a bad or confused mood at the end. Sure the acting really wasn't all that great but I did enjoy the death scenes for the most part. The plot while kind of old I'll admit was pretty interesting.
The only thing I really don't get is why use Elizabeth Bathory? They could have just as easily put a random made up ghost in that place. Why put someone from history that really didn't fit too well in that role? Well at least I can say they did pick a creepy person. Although Elizabeth Bathory in life was more scary than this movie will every be and for that matter probably scarier than any horror movie I've ever seen. That's just my opinion on it.
Getting back on track. I don't see how this movie is God awful, not saying it's great by any means. Just saying it might be worth a quick watch if you're a horror fan. I enjoyed it for the most part and I'm sure I can't be the only one.
if you are a gamer,you will definitely love this movie. I don't see how you can't. I almost disagree on every aspect of the film with the people above me. I'm completely picky on movies too, and I thought when I saw this it would just be another stupid teen horror. It wasn't. The acting was actually surprisingly good. But I will say that I didn't think Sophia Bush was very good. Everyone else was awesome. The plot was great! It kept surprising you and I sat there talking to the person next to me about what might happen next. I was wrong every time, which tells me it was very unpredictable. The horror was pretty good. I mean, it wasn't like completely terrifying, but I'm afraid to go to bed or play video games for awhile now. I definitely jumped a couple of times and the girl in it scaring the living sh*t out of me. The way it comes together I thought was awesome and it ended well. It sets itself up for a sequel and if it gets enough response hopefully there will be one. I encourage you to go see it, NOT A WASTE OF MONEY! I will say though that may opinion may be influenced by the fact that I do play video games. Still, I'm a extreme movie fan and thought Stay Alive was awesome!
This movie was obviously cut down from R to PG-13. It was nevertheless enjoyable, a few creepy scenes. Blood and guts do not make a horror film, lets remember that. Because this movie was cut down, a few scenes don't make sense. But after seeing the previews we all know this isn't going to be the next cult classic, it was fun. Just enjoy for what it is.
This movie was basically The Ring meets Brainscan (A Edward furlong film from the 90s) It follows a group of kids who find a horror game. They play the game and start realizing when you die in the game, you die in real life. It has a ridiculous amount of pop culture references. But the creepier scenes in the movie really worked well.
I saw this flick this afternoon, after it opened here yesterday. And I really liked it.
I saw another review that compared this to The Ring. I see what they mean ... and to me this sort of suggests the two things about this flick that I really liked the most.
One is it's a good solid horror flick, built on a good solid horror story. Nothing super-original or exceptional ... just good, sound, basic scary movie type features from one end to the other. Works for me!
The other thing I really liked is that it's steeped in what I take to be contemporary electronic game culture. This is a culture I really just plain don't know at all except for snippets I get here and there. I'm 52 years old and a step son introduced me years ago to a then current version of the game Doom. I sort of went nuts about it for several weeks then deleted it off my computer so I couldn't get addicted to it again. And that's my sum total personal experience with electronic gaming. But enough that watching this brought back some of the old sensations ... not in a bad way, either. And the general young adult culture of the Game that this movie depicts sure looks authentic, tho others will have to comment more reliably on that. But it's a walk through a culture that I really enjoyed.
That combo ... Ring-like video Story on one hand, Here-and-Now Reality on the other ... and the way the two intersect ... horribly, this being a horror movie ... that's a sort of interlayering that I just really, really enjoy.
The acting and characterizations were all solid, Munoz deserving special mention in his especially convincing geeky characterization. Cinematography was good, scripting very solid, plot very fine, all the elements worked together to make a really cool, fun horror flick set in the young folks' gaming subculture. Check it out, good movie!
OK, so you know this movie is going to be cheesy before you even go see it. It's about a game that kills you if you die in it. I already knew that, but I was hoping to be at least entertained. First off, most of the acting was actually pretty good. Some of it was terrible, but I blame the script more than the actors, some of those lines were impossible to deliver realistically. The plot was ehh, well you already know the plot. It was not the strong point of the movie, to say the least. The thing that really bothered me was the fact that the movie cut away right before everyone got killed. I guess that's what happens when you make a PG-13 horror movie. I get the feeling this movie would have been a LOT better if they had just let it get an R rating, and include all of the violence. Violence doesn't necessarily make a good movie, but in this case, what else would you watch this movie for? It doesn't build tension very well, and is generally not very scary. The makeup for the countess looks pretty good, she is a creepy looking woman.
All together the movie wasn't terrible. It was at least entertaining to some extent. Don't expect to be scared unless you are a 14 year old girl. 4/10 stars.
Overall the movie is well done, the ghost are scary without having to show a lot and the acting are generally OK. What really gets me is the script. How they always manage to make the characters so stupid is beyond me. It one thing watching a char die because of the circumstance but watching a char die because of his/her own stupidity is another. It just makes the audience feel cheated and resentful to the characters. Its a shame that horror flick cannot be more intelligent. 'The Ring' was great and it looks like a great beginning for the new age of scary, intelligent movies but this movie push the genre back a few notches.
Basically there should be 2 types of scary movie, 1) intelligent ones and 2) stupid but with lot of T&A. This movie is stupid without the T&A (replaced by really nicely rendered video game scenes). guess that is not enough to please the audience.
Yeah, so I just watched this tonight. (I just got back actually). And I have to tell you, I have never laughed so hard in the movie theater before. My friends and I almost got kicked out because we couldn't stop laughing at how ridiculous this movie was. Do people really think this is scary? Sure, I liked the Silent Hill and other 1st person survival/horror references, but c'mon. The acting was so horrible it sounded like they were TRYING to sound like the voice acting from the first Resident Evil game. I was waiting for a "master of lock-picking" quote to be said. Not only was the acting bad, the special effects were horrible and lame as well. The way Countess Bathory looks in the "game/movie", I would be surprised if she frightened the toddler we had behind us with his family. In fact, I recall the kid giggling during one scene. And correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Countess Bathory in Europe? (In fact, I believe she was in Transylvania). How is it possible for them to get to her "plantation" when they are in New Orleans? Or did I just miss something there? Luckily, I know a guy who works there and he got us all in for free because I would have kicked myself for paying to see this movie. This made the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre look like a masterpiece.
Films like this get pounded by the critics as unimaginative, but them often achieve high viewer ratings on IMDb. This movie suffers low ratings in both spheres but is making money. Lots of it.
The genre demands predictability: some kids die, some survive (always including and often just a boy-girl pair), and at the end, the very end we see how the evil has survived to threaten the exiting audience.
I'll tell you why I went to see it, because I like movies where the "movie within" overlaps in some way with the containing movie. In this case, its a video game; same same. Some viewers compare this to "Jumanji," but in that case, the players enter the game, a fantasy world. In this case, the game enters the real world, more in the "Ringu" fashion.
Is it scary? Are any of these? Who cares? What I care about is whether the folding is done coolly, like in "eXistenZ." And whether the characters are as clever as the fold. A couple of these guys were fun, but typically the girls were clones.
I saw this with "I, Madman." Similar values: clever fold, boring presentation.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.