Stay Alive (Director’s Cut)


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Rating: Unrated

Jon Foster as Hutch O’Neill
Samaire Armstrong as Abigail
Frankie Muniz as Swink Sylvania
Jimmi Simpson as Phineas Bantum
Wendell Pierce as Detective Thibodeaux
Milo Ventimiglia as Loomis Crowley
Sophia Bush as October Bantum
Adam Goldberg as Miller Banks
Billy Slaughter as Rex
Nicole Opperman as Sarah
April Wood as Loretta
Monica Monica as Mrs. Crowley
Rio Hackford as Detective King
Billy Louviere as Fidget

Special Features:
Visual Effects Reel – Key effects sequences from artists’ drawings to final scenes, cut together music video style

Interactive Bonus Menus – Build your character and see where it takes you

Filmmaker Audio Commentary

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 101 Minutes

The following is from the DVD cover:

“Get ready for supernatural chills and terrifying challenges in ‘Stay Alive,’ the mind-bending thriller about a killer video game. The real world and the game world gruesomely collide when a group of friends play ‘Stay Alive,’ a mysterious underground videogame that kills the gamer whose character dies in play. Inspired by the shocking true story of the 17th century serial killer known as the Blood Countess, the videogame gives disturbing new meaning to the phrase “game over.” In a death defying race against time, the survivors must solve the mystery of the game while desperately trying to stay alive.”

“Stay Alive (Director’s Cut)” is not rated. The original theatrical release was rated PG-13 for horror violence, disturbing images, language, brief sexual and drug content.

I’ll give the creators of “Stay Alive” credit. In attempting to cash in on the current teen horror craze, they tried to do something a little different. Basing the supernatural nemesis within a video game was a good try. Most good horror films take the mundane and turn it into something scary (like “Psycho” did with taking showers or “Jaws” with swimming in the ocean). And the video game in “Stay Alive” is certainly creepy. Unfortunately, almost all of the film’s originality was spent on the video game premise.

“Stay Alive” doesn’t really have anything else new to offer. None of the scary moments freaked me out and the few moments of real horror seemed to be swiped from other films. (For example, a guy gets his head ripped apart like in “Saw.”) The movie also seems to use every horror cliché known to man. You have characters going off on their own despite every other lone character being killed. You have shadows appearing suddenly in the background behind characters. The list goes on and on. The cast of characters also run the gamut of clichés. You have the genius, the babe, the smart mouth, the hero, the angry cop, etc etc etc.

I would only recommend “Stay Alive” to die-hard horror fans. They might be more willing to forgive many of this film’s flaws and giant plot holes.

Despite being a “Director’s Cut”, this DVD doesn’t have much to offer. They gleefully advertise “violence, gore, sex/nudity, profanity, and drug use” on the cover, but none of this makes the movie more interesting or exciting (unless seeing a man’s butt or a guy hitting a bong excites you). The bonus features are also lame. You have a “music video style” featurette that shows you the effects work in quick clips that are likely to induce epileptic seizures. There’s also a commentary, but the creator’s don’t have anything particularly noteworthy to offer. In short, you shouldn’t buy this DVD for the bonus features.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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