Stay Alive --- A 2006 horror release with Frankie Muniz and Sophia Bush
Apr 6, 2006
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:new plot devices, takes gaming to a new level, interesting premise
Cons:bad acting, some terrible dialogue, a little predictable
The Bottom Line: An original horror film premise, the film was interesting to watch, even with bad acting and terrible dialogue.
It's interesting sometimes when you consider that there are so many ways to create a horror movie. All you have to do, is devise a way to kill off your characters that hasn't been tried before, and you could end up with a hit on your hands. If you are short on ideas, just remake something that has been done before with a new twist. The new release Stay Alive takes a little from both plot ideas, presenting a new way to go about killing off its leads, but using some methods that have been used before. Starring a host of teenage television stars, this film is sure to find its fan base, and an original idea behind the main plot didn't end up hurting its chances of having me go see it. At the center of the story is a video game, whose players must "stay alive" in the game, or perish at the same time in real life.
Recommend this product?
Jon Foster (Life As We Know It) stars as Hutch MacNeil, who has been invited to play a new computer game with a friend one night. He decides to pass on the chance, but finds out the next day that his friend and two of his roommates have ended up dead. The twist is that they died in real life the same way that they died in the game. It is not really a believable thought process for Hutch, that something like this could really happen, so of course he works that theory too late to prove a savior for some other characters. But, in honor of his friends memory, he and a group of his friends decide to log into the game and try it out for themselves. It should have been a hint that they had to all chant a few lines of text at the beginning of the game to get it started, but they all fell into the trap of thinking it was just a new gaming technology. So, from the start, we have 6 main characters that have all stepped into the game, and must now struggle to succeed at the game if they want to live.
In other roles amongst the cast we have Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) as October Bantum, and Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in The Middle) as Swink Sylvania. They are all decent in their roles, but the acting is not all that great, and the dialogue that they have to work with is pretty sub-par as well. It should be noted that the people around them were even worse though, so it highlighted the main attributes of these characters. It was also interesting to go into a movie not having the highest of expectations, so it wasn't a let down when there were cheesy elements to the story. As anyone reading this would expect, there are forces working against the kids succeeding in the game, and they struggle to convince anyone else that their theories are even remotely true. With a pair of detectives investigating their involvement with the deaths of the previous players, and the stress of needing to "stay alive", the actors/actresses all proceed through the plot of the story.
When you look at a movie like Stay Alive from the outside, you can see that it isn't going to be an award winning film. You are basically going to see a film about a video game, which holds the lives of its players in its hands. The secret to the game must be discovered if the players are going to survive, and you already know that with reality being thrown out the window with the plot, that you might not find the solution all that believable either. Being someone who has loved playing games throughout my life, I thought the premise of the film was very interesting, and that earned it extra points in my book. I was willing to pay for a theater ticket, even knowing that it wouldn't have the greatest production value. Though the acting wasn't the best, and the dialogue was weak at times, I did end up enjoying myself with the film. It had some very violent parts that could be unsuitable for a younger audience, and knowing that this is a horror movie tells you where it is heading. Though I liked it, and though I do recommend it to big fans of the genre, I can really only give it two stars as a film reviewer. It is a weak film in the end, but I think it is well worth giving a try to horror film-goers looking for something new and interesting.
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