"Stay Alive" should have been titled "Stay Awake." The Frankie Muniz-starring horror movie is one of the dumbest and incomprehensible horror movies to come along in years. Another attempt to pull more video gamers into theaters, "Stay Alive" is about a group of friends who start playing a mysterious video game - and then die in the same way they die in the game.
To start off, I've never liked any of these possessed technology stories. "The Ring" was good, but most films, like "fear dot com," are just terrible. Websites and video games that lead to supernatural deaths just defy logic a bit too much, and "Stay Alive" takes stupidity to the next level.
There are two things that absolutely kill this movie:
First, the characters are God-awful. Easily the dumbest group of murder victims to grace the silver screen in a long time, this band of quasi-friends all get together to play a new video game they know nothing about. They all get together to put in the game for the first time and all react as if they have discovered a gold mine. They get so excited about this new video game that it is impossible to take them seriously. Furthermore, when they start the game, how do they know they can plug in six controllers? Isn't that a bit convenient? Anyway, none of the characters are especially likable for the sole fact that they are so idiotic.
Second, the death scenes are non-existent. This would have been a perfect movie to include some very clever and grotesque "Final Destination" death sequences, where the characters fall victim to a variety of elaborate accidents that simulate what happened to them in the game. Instead, director William Brent Bell simply cuts away before we see anything close to resembling murder, except for in the case of one guy who gets trampled to death by a supernatural horse carriage. Honestly, what the f--k.
"Stay Alive" is so bad that I turned it off halfway through. By the time the guy had been killed by that horse, I realized the film had absolutely no originality or cleverness to it. Avoid this film at all costs - if you manage to sit through the whole thing, you may want to commit suicide.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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