Stay Alive

Critics Consensus

A by-the-numbers teen horror flick, Stay Alive fails to exploit its premise for any real scares.

9%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 58

55%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 113,398
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Movie Info

After the mysterious, brutal death of an old friend, a group of teenagers find themselves in possession of "Stay Alive," an ultra-realistic 3-D videogame based on the spine-chilling true story of a 17th century noblewoman, known as "The Blood Countess." The gamers don't know anything about the game other than they're not supposed to have it... and they're dying to play it. Not able to resist temptation, the kids begin to play the grisly game but soon make a chilling connection -- they are each being murdered one-by-one in the same way as the characters they played in the game. As the line between the game world and the real world disappears, the teens must find a way to defeat the vicious and merciless Blood Countess, all the while trying to... stay alive.

Cast

Jon Foster
as Hutch O'Neill
Frankie Muniz
as Swink Sylvania
Sophia Bush
as October Bantum
Jimmi Simpson
as Phineas Bantum
Adam Goldberg
as Miller Banks
Milo Ventimiglia
as Loomis Crowley
Wendell Pierce
as Detective Thibodeaux
April Wood
as Loretta
Monica Monica
as Mrs. Crowley
Rio Hackford
as Detective King
J. Richey Nash
as Young Rookie
Maria Kalinina
as Countess Elizabeth Bathory
Veronica Mosgrove
as News Reporter
Rick Green
as Stay Alive Game Voice-Over
Jim Bishop
as Mr. Crowley
James Haven
as Jonathan Malkus
Amber Nicolai
as Evil Girl
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News & Interviews for Stay Alive

Critic Reviews for Stay Alive

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (53)

  • There's a gothic backstory to all this, which makes no sense but looks pretty cool.

    Mar 7, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Never has a title been more horribly at odds with the way you're actually going to feel while watching the movie.

    Jul 29, 2006 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Stuttering like a busted console, the film's lack of invention is only rivalled by a paucity of gore which will seem positively comical to gamers long since inured to cyberspace slaughter.

    Jul 4, 2006 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • ... while its narrative style -- elliptical, fragmented, even eccentric at times -- is ambitious and imaginative, it sometimes makes for a loss of clarity and momentum.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Teen fodder like this isn't known for sophistication or storytelling depth, but the filmmakers seem to take the film's video-game theme as permission to eschew even the horror genre's exceedingly lenient minimums for characterization.

    Mar 30, 2006 | Rating: D- | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Videogames are no longer brainless, so why are videogame movies so slow to evolve?

    Mar 29, 2006 | Rating: D- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Stay Alive

  • Jun 28, 2011
    3.2/10 "Stay Alive" is an almost perfect example of what most would call a "so-bad-it's-good" film, bumped up from perfection only by the fact that, while there's plenty unintentional laughter to be had, none of it is genuine, honorable, or worth remembering. Sure, I admit that I had a few good chuckles whilst watching this less-than-fine product, although will I watch it again so that I can laugh again as well? No, I don't think so. Literally the only thing you need to know about "Stay Alive" is that it sucks. You don't need to know much about the plot, because you can read about it in a short synopsis; and you don't need to know about the characters because honestly, you've seen them all before, in some other uber-forgettable, stupid horror movie featuring dimwitted humans and even more dimwitted paranormal spirits from beyond the grave. Video Games are often times worthless distractions and nothing more- nothing less, and maybe this is why so many people enjoy playing them. Video Games are the obsession of the film's central bunch; Hutch (Jon Foster), Abigail (Samaire Armstrong), Swink (Frankie Munez), October (Sofia Bush), and Phineus (Jimmi Simpson). They discover a brand-new online source of gaming entertainment, called "Stay Alive", after a friend suffers a horrific, tragic, and all-together mysterious demise after playing it one night. And the next night, the main group, along with a friend (Adam Goldberg), plays the game for themselves. Almost instantly, it becomes clear that this is a survival horror game unlike any other. People from the group start dying after their characters within the game die. And they die in the same exact way, too. The killer is none other than the infamous serial killer, Elizabeth Bathory, who haunts the game. I guess I won't tell you how or why she haunts the game, not that it should matter to anyone, because if you take my advice; "Stay Alive" isn't a good enough horror movie for you to want to see it. I bet a few ears perked up when I mentioned Adam Goldberg's name. He's a talent who I'd like to see in more films, or at least more films than he typically cares to be in. I remember seeing him in "Dazed and Confused" not long ago, and there he was good. Here, he is not. The problem with Goldberg, in particular, is that in "Stay Alive", he is merely amusing, and never truly "good". In a sense, he is no better than the film's more decent scenes; which are also merely amusing, and never truly good. Director William Brent Bell must think he's a sly genius for making this film. He must think that he has crafted a truly scary, creepy, and intelligent tale of virtual terror. The trouble with films about spirits, or ghosts if you may, is that you have to have sympathy for both your ghouls and your humans, although this film doesn't seem to care much about either. Anyways, moving on. Horror movies often have more stylistic venues than most films of any other genre would have. This one looks decent, but something about the style, for me, spells out the word of "bland". At best, this is glorified camp that never lives up to what is expected of it. It is lame, derivative, and all-together rather unoriginal. It is not well-acted; just as it is not well-made. I can't say I was disappointed, but when the best thing you can say about a horror flick is that stoners might enjoy it, you're in trouble. Even killers deserve solid films made about them. Elizabeth Bathory has yet to get hers.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2011
    It's so bad it's good. Really entertaining. Frankie Muniz! Grade: B-
    Matt G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2010
    it didn't scare me, but i liked the videogame part
    Andreia C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2010
    It's enjoyable, but when your watching it, you know that it's a bad movie!
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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