Channel24 interviews SA director, Oliver Schmitz, about his new film, Shepherds and Butchers

Dr Luke has refuted allegations that he abused Kesha by "pressuring" her into starving herself

Stay Alive

2007-01-19 18:02

After the mysterious murder of his pal Loomis (Milo Ventimiglia), Hutch (Jon Foster) receives the video game Loomis was playing before he was killed. He introduces his friends to the game (called Stay Alive), and they discover the game is controlled by the spirit of Romanian countess, Elizabeth Bathory (Maria Kalinina), and each time a player dies in the game, they perish in the real world too.


If you think the plot of Stay Alive sounds half baked and ridiculous, then you’ve proved you can read. What the plot outline doesn’t reveal is that this movie is, in every respect, a lazy, uninspired pile of garbage. Stay Alive appears to have jumped straight from the conceptual phase to the filming, as there is no logic, consistency, or motivation for anything that happens.

The idea of evil lurking in technology is not a new one, and there have been plenty of exciting horror films based on this premise, with The Ring leading the pack. To successfully blend the supernatural with the mundane depends on skillful execution, and there needs to be a focused brain behind it all. In Stay Alive there is no focus, and clearly no brain. Most of us have seen more engaging, better made films floating on the top of a cuppa soup.

After the first humdrum death (the usual fleeting shapes, funny noises, and a villainous spirit lifted straight from an arbitrary PS2 horror game), it is all downhill. The young, irritating cast stumbles woodenly from scene to disjointed scene, gasping “This is insane!” and “This can’t be happening!” as they get sucked into a crappy knockoff of Alone in the Dark (the game, not the film).

Confusion is virtually guaranteed, as the film never reveals why the angry spirit is killing people, how it got into the game, who made the game, or why the evil lair is stuck out behind an average house, when legend dictates it should be in Eastern Europe. There is even a black horse drawn carriage in the garage of the house with the evil lair. Would someone please explain why a ghost that can materialise at will and travel digitally would need an actual carriage?

Apparently absolutely no research went into any aspect of the film, as the gamers all seem to be playing PC games online using their laptops, but they are clearly playing a console game, with console controls. It is this lack of care and detail which will irritated both game fans and horror fans, and in fact, any sort of film watcher at all.

To sum it up, don’t watch Stay Alive. It has no redeeming features whatsoever, and it is even worse than Paul Anderson’s terrible Resident Evil films, and possibly even worse than Mortal Kombat. It feels like an episode of Buffy or Smallville, but delivers none of the thrills or laughs of those shows. You would have more fun watching a housefly buzz around a room for 90 minutes.

- Ivan Sadler
A killer videogame? Please. You'd get more thrills watching a fly buzz around a room for 90 minutes than sitting through this haphazard rubbish.


The Accountant

2016-10-21 07:49

Sean 2006-11-13 07:59 AM
Ring and grudge now this poppycock. Firstly you have to be a person who fears anything in the dark to be scared of these rubbish often laughable horror flicks. I watched the ring with some friends and they were adamant it was scary, wife got scared but it was pathetic. I do remember that a werewolf movie gives me the willies, this was because of a previous experience watching Silverbullet when I was 7 years old.
Mo 2006-11-13 10:51 AM
De Ja Vu Was there not a movie like this before? If i remember correctly, it was called Scandisk? It starred that kid from Terminator 2. That was cool. But then again, I was like 8 years old.
eXistenZ 2006-11-13 01:35 PM
Still looking. If you want to watch something in this genere i would recommend you get your hands on a copy of eXistenZ. It is a brilliant film with quite a freak out appeal.
maccer 2006-11-29 11:55 AM
what is this rubbish you really have to be out of our mind to enjoy this rubbish...honestly i had more fun throwing popcorn around the cinema.
sarah 2006-12-29 06:07 PM
awsome i thought the movie was cool they should make a game that doesnt kill people

Recent Reviews

The Accountant

2016-10-21 07:49

The film is so to say the ultimate package with a good director, good leading actor, and an all-star cast. Read More »
Add your review

Shepherds and Butchers

2016-10-21 07:49

If ever there was a reason why no government should ever have the death penalty, Shepherds and Butchers is why – a masterpiece of raw emotional trauma. Read More »
Add your review

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.