Stay Alive (2006)


Directed by: William Brent Bell

Written by: William Brent Bell & Matthew Peterman


Jon Foster .... Hutch O'Neill
Samaire Armstrong .... Abigail
Frankie Muniz .... Swink Sylvania
Sophia Bush .... October Bantum
Jimmi Simpson .... Phineas Bantum
Adam Goldberg .... Miller Banks

Release Dates: Quick Theatrical: March 24, 2006; Cologne Fantasy Filmfest: March 31, 2006 (Germany); Bochum Fantasy Filmfest Nights: April 1, 2006

*Images courtesy at








Three old friends of four teens are killed while playing an underground 'beta' video game called Stay Alive.
Thinking that the game is harmless, they try it out themselves in memory of their dearly departed friends, hosted by Miller Banks (Adam Goldberg) but suddenly they are trapped in the video game themselves and then Miller is killed.
The game was based on a true story of
a 17th century noblewoman known as the Blood Countess.
While they play the game and die from the game after it's game over these people die from these incidents in real life...the game continues to play even while they are not actively using the remotes; leaving them injured and/or dead as it goes on and on....
Three survivors try to beat this game and go to the place where Blood Countess lived while one of them plays the game actively as a decoy, as well trying to beat her at her own game will have to watch this movie to see the end and come to your own conclusions!!


There's a beginning of the film showing a video game character trying to survive a game which almost makes you wonder if you're watching one of those computerised video games and not an actual movie but it does get to the point that someone is trying to play this game later on. It is creepy finding out what happens to the one playing this game in which it copies exactly on what happens to him like in the game before this character dies when it's game over. This sure looked spooky on how it was done. Plus there's some scene's beforehand on two people having sex in a room as one is wearing a pigs mask. I gfound this a paying tribute to The Shining of course.
There's a necessary scene of a funeral and the one's about to play this Stay Alive game not understanding as to why these people were killed which this certainly drew a mystery to the story without a doubt. Plus there's the odd humor with the video game host Miller Banks snorting up cocaine and off guard while the others are contacting him to host the game which may offer some chuckles.
It really gets going with everyone in a room to play the game as they realise that the characters look almost like them as well as their reactions when they see this. Watching all of this can really trip you out big time. The writing on all of this was cleverly suspenseful in every bit to this story.
But the terror happens even more as the host behind this game is out near a hallway with this Blood Countess stalking him as it leaves a chill down your spine along with a low rumbling noise which is one of the game players underneath his desk which was another nice pointer that something deadly is for sure about to occur to him big time.
Plus there's the odd time when there might be someone who was killed playing their game at their lap top which happens to be Phineas Bantum since his posture is bent down only to be using a bong smoking marijuana. This was a real teaser tricking the viewers and quite clever too. Yes this story has one of those party animal types who likes to have a fun time getting into all sorts of mischief which leaves an impression that he will be a perfect target as a victim for a horror flick like this one.
There's moments with everyone doing certain activities and then they spot deadly hallucinations and then things are back to normal for them which can really boggle you big time and was a great drawing card to the storyline. This scene seemed to pay a tribute to A Nightmare On Elm Street which seemed like a fun touch.
My favourite part of the movie is a moment with Phineas driving in his car and Countess is in the middle of the road in which he swerves to get out of the way and almost hits a tree. This looked terrorising and then he steps out of his vehicle to answer his cell phone and the roadway is way too quiet and the road distance where he's standing in looks like that it goes on forever to top it off. Plus it looks like he's in the video game too and have a sinking feeling that something deadly is going to happen to him.
To add to a good feel to this horror film there's a woman named Mrs. Crowley explaining some stories on the deadly events which almost seems like some gypsy explaining stuff which added good flavor to everything as these moments can seem almost chilling to find out what will happen after she unravels certain mysterious moments to everything.
There's bigger shocking surprises like with a tough girl named October being trapped in Contess' trap and tied upside down before she does her sacrifice to her with her friends trying to break in to rescue her which keeps you glued watching wondering if they will save her in time.
The adventure starts big time when the survivors try and play the game to put an end to their curse as there's alot of dark and creepy moments to all of this. It includes alot of struggling moments that can cause them their lives which keeps you in suspense in wondering if they will succeed in what they do. Alot of this looked slick and spooky too. Also there's the odd moments with the Countess in which you picture in those old fashioned vampire movies on someone trying to drive a stake through her heart while she's sleeping in one area which was nice and crafty.
Bottom line is that I found the film a little confusing at first but when I watch a psychological horror flick I always get confused at first. It almost borrowed a bit from the Final Destination movies even if it wasn't as suspenseful.
I wasn't a big fan of this one but I can see why others would like it if you love both video games and horror and the imagining that you're in the video game to stay alive which is a creepy thought as I'm not terrific at playing video games anyhow and very often it says game over for me before I get too far!

The acting was very well done in which lead actor Jon Foster (Hutch O'Neill) really knew on how to pull off his part as someone who seems intelligent knowing what he is doing as well as showing a good sane attitude to everything as well as showing a nice skillful type of reactions to when the terrors starts to happen. He comes off fairly well to everything that he did in the film.
Frankie Muniz (Swink Sylvania) really grabbed attention big time in his role as someone who is very paranoid playing the Stay Alive game in which he drew out great anxiety as well as showing nice panicking expressions too. He also knew on how to be heroic too with what he did to try and help out the survivors showing a nice diverse personality to his performance. Shows a good energetic moment while trying to get with the game while he tries to guide the other survivors which looked impressive. She does well with her frightened screaming and expressions when onscreen ghouls are grabbing at her.
Sophia Bush (October Bantum) certainly was the most interesting one out of the cast as she sure knew on how to portray her crying emotions when she needed to as well as having a nice tough as nails behavior to top it all off. Shows great intense aggressions while pointing and firing a gun in a certain scene along with good reactions on her being pulled away with great intense screaming too. Her looks were a bonus too since she really fit into her character due to that too. She shows great lung power as well when the terror hits her too. All in all she proved to be a worthy character actress.
Jimmi Simpson (Phineas Bantum) was another one who stood out too portraying a partying type of fellow liking his marijuana a little too much and knew on how to be light headed trying to be full of life as well as being a typical goofball too. He brings all of this together superbly. He was for sure a great key role to the story and a real attention grabber too.
Adam Goldberg (Miller Banks) shows a real effective performance in his supporting role even if he was only half way through the story before getting killed off. He adds some decent wit to his role as well as trying to be serious about what he does in a businessman way. Alot of good blocking scene's with him looking around and trying to reach for his cell phone as well as a good startled expression on him with a nice closing in shot on him screaming which was well energised. He was a ball of energy without a doubt proving that he can wear other hats other than in my favourite movie Dazed & Confused.

Maria Kalinina takes off her clothes close to the end of the end just before her plan of a sacrifice

There are brief bloody moments and video game gore.

John Frizzell composes the music in this one and brings action packed tunes to this picture which are absolutely suitable for the film by all means. There's alot of screeching sound effects as well as the heavy boomings too. Plus there's some good fast paced piano tapping along with suspenseful violin music.

October Bantum: Go fuck yourself!

Swink Sylvania: Bitch, that's cheating! I'm not even dead yet!