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Stay Alive
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Stay Alive (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"For a group of teens, the answer to the mysterious death of their old friend lies within the world of an online video game based on the true story of an ancient noblewoman known as "The Blood Countess.""

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 29 September 2006 My Rating: out of 5


Stay Alive created a bit of buzz earlier this year and was anticipated by many a genre fan thanks to its concept, which blends two of regular internet users’ favourite pastimes; movies and games.

The story sees Hutch lose his best friend Loomis to a horrible accident. Hutch and his friends decide to throw a LAN party in honour of Loomis, and play a game named Stay Alive which Loomis had been beta testing before he died.

The kids play the game and get spooked, and discover the next day that their friend Miller, later died in real life in the exact same way his character died in the game. Everyone is sceptical at first, including the obligatory bumbling cops, but the group soon has no other option but to believe it, as their number continues to dwindle.

The film unfortunately suffered the curse of the PG-13 rating, as Hollywood big wigs thought younger audience members would mean more bums on seats (which more or less worked) but the core audience felt cheated, as the film was so badly butchered in editing, that there are a number of gaping plot holes to be found.

Unlike the majority of IMDB members, most viewers should be able to fill in the blanks by things called process of elimination and logical thought processes, yet there are a number of niggling factors that we could never figure out for ourselves, mainly – who made the game?

It has been promised that this will be dealt with in the obligatory director’s cut DVD and we shall also see more gore, new characters and even new sub-plots…essentially the whole film.

These problems do not make the film a complete waste of time however, as there are a number of plus points, mainly the cast and the witty banter, plus the New Orleans locations and gothic imagery also work very well, as does the soundtrack and the creepy sound design.

It’s pretty cheesy and the overall experience is ruined by the mandatory editing, but it’s a fun little film that fills a theatrical gap before the forthcoming onslaught of sequels and big budget horror flicks hit multiplexes.

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