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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.25%
Worth A Look: 8.33%
Just Average: 2.08%
Pretty Crappy50%
Sucks: 33.33%

4 reviews, 24 user ratings

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Stay Alive
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by Doug Bentin

"Here comes more Louisiana Gothic."
2 stars

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between bad, amateurish, and experimental filmmaking, especially so when it’s the latter and it doesn’t work. I suspect that’s the problem with “Stay Alive,” the new teen-oriented horror flick that comes across as an odd-duck blend of 1960s Hammer gothic and 21st. century Asian understatement. Director William Brent Bell’s ambitions may be international, but the result is a mishmash that doesn’t manage to do justice to any of its influences.

Once again technology is the means by which ancient evil can enter our world. Countess Elizabeth Bathory--a character-idea based on a 16th. century Hungarian noblewoman, played by Ingrid Pitt in 1971’s “Countess Dracula, who is reputed to have killed over 600 virginal girls in order to remain young by bathing in their blood—ran a home for girls in 19th century Louisiana. Now she has found a way to inject herself into a video game—stop laughing until I finish—so that whomever loses the game will be killed in real life in the same manner s/he was killed in the game. This makes their literal blood become virtual blood and the countess uses it to stay alive even though she’s dead. One look at the characters in this film and you’ll now that virginity is no longer required. Now you can laugh.

How this game gets into people’s hands, we never learn. Even “The Ring” supplied enough of a back story to satisfy the curious. This movie doesn’t bother.

While the young gamers who begin playing Stay Alive—that’s the name of the game—are figuring out that if they die in the game, they will perish similarly in real life, they fall under suspicion of murder by the local cops. Of course, when it’s all over the survivors will still be accused of mass murder by the police, but these movies never go into that. Happily ever after, or until the sequel, etc.

As I’ve said before, horror movies are living nightmares and like nightmares they don’t have to follow paths of logic as long as they deliver the goods, fright-wise. Sorry folks, but this one isn’t very scary. Bell has a good eye for the gothic detail, but this is a PG-13 creepshow and it’s definitely aimed at the younger folk. Frankie Muniz is the only easily recognizable star and I think the picture will frighten his tween fans only. It’s the horror movie equivalent of Amanda Bynes in last week’s tween comedy “She’s the Man.”

Muniz is okay here and he never tries for the inappropriate laugh. He’s the nerdiest character, but he actually gets to come to the rescue a couple of times. The rest of the cast delivers the sexiness, screams, and shocks required of them.

If you’re a fan of the horror genre and you’re getting bored with the dishwater shockers Hollywood has been sending out way so far this year, “Stay Alive” might be the last nail in the coffin of your patience. If your hope springs eternal, this is just another deep sigh. Maybe “Slither” . . . Maybe “Silent Hill” . . . Maybe “Snakes on a Plane” . . . Maybe . . .

Some of the visuals are spooky in that over-ripe gothic way, but there’s nothing here but sudden loud noises and flash cutting to scare anyone over the age of 13. It’s tolerable but not much more than that, with its blend of old time Hammer Gothicism and new-fangled Asian creepy little girls. It’s strictly for the tweeners who are ready for real horror movies but aren’t ready for the gore that comes with them

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14182&reviewer=405
originally posted: 04/06/06 13:45:07
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User Comments

1/16/20 Robert the Wallace Love it-seen WAY WORSE; actually bought the unrated director s cut--a guilty pleasure movie 4 stars
6/02/10 User Name "Stay Awake" would be a more appropriate title. 1 stars
6/02/08 mike stopped watching after 15 minutes. looked terrible 1 stars
3/21/08 Pamela White movie to nowhere 1 stars
11/19/07 B Short To say that this movie sucked would be an insult to those movies that suck 2 stars
11/16/07 David Pollastrini Pretty dull 1 stars
10/23/07 Pedro Altar this movie is nice 5 stars
1/10/07 Tracey Chambers great idea that went nowhere. 2 stars
11/06/06 Indrid Cold Boy does Frankie Muniz's future look bright ... not! 2 stars
9/25/06 Becca terrible!! it was creepy, but the story line just sucked 1 stars
9/21/06 --- I actually left the theatre and got a refund. 1 stars
9/01/06 Mr Bayg The director needs to sew his asshole shut to stop shit like this being produced. 1 stars
7/30/06 Liz Wot was it! i was laughing most the time! i wud say watch it for comedy value! 2 stars
6/10/06 Chris I wasn't scare once, and I'm that idiot who screams in movies like this, boring, very dumb 2 stars
6/04/06 mary I liked it. 5 stars
6/02/06 Robyn Jamil-Walid Marcia, do you mean EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE? If so, good point. 4 stars
6/01/06 Marcia Zarwetten-Grassi Less substance but most enjoyable horror since SKELETON KEY or REINCARNATION OF EMILY ROSE. 4 stars
4/06/06 Daymon it was ok but the concept of it becoming a real 1st PS horrorsurvival game is pretty cool 5 stars
4/03/06 drunken master Good concept, but like many other videogame-based movies, this one failed miserably! 2 stars
3/27/06 Blutarsky Ok, are studio plants giving it good marks? No other explanation. 1 stars
3/26/06 Hayley Alright 3 stars
3/26/06 Ricardo Jimenez I enjoyed the movie 4 stars
3/25/06 lemonhead wow this movie is complete garbage, how did this make it into theaters 1 stars
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  24-Mar-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Sep-2006



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