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Stay Alive

  • Film

Time Out says

A teen horror movie with ideas above its PlayStation, this simply dresses up the ‘lambs-to-the-slaughter’ formula with modish computer-game settings and pixellated images. When a friend dies while playing an illicit advance copy of horror survival game ‘Stay Alive’, the usual disposable teens – buttoned-down law clerk Hutch, goth girl October, her punky brother Phineas, tech wizard Swink and shy photographer Abigail – ignore the obvious warning signs (‘When you die in the game, you die for real’) and initiate a multi-player suicide session.

The nicely textured 3D opening suggests a new dimension of bleeding-edge horror, where ‘perceptive reality’ is bent out of shape, and the actual and virtual worlds meld in confusing, dangerous ways. Unfortunately, what follows is a noisy, tedious jumble of 2D characters, predictable plot twists, geek speak and crawling female ghosts borrowed from Hideo Nakata’s much-imitated ‘Ring’ series. Not to mention the spurious introduction of seventeenth-century Hungarian virgin-slaughterer Elizabeth Bathory, aka The Bloody Countess, whose bizarre and unexplained re-appearance on a New Orleans plantation drives a carriage and horses through what little narrative logic remains.
Written by Nigel Floyd
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