Stay Alive

Bomb Rating: 

Even Mr. Cranky hates to make jokes at the expense of New Orleans, but if this is the type of film that's going to be shot there to boost the economy, then perhaps we need a few more hurricanes. On the other hand, New Orleans might want to consider filing a class action lawsuit against the producers of "Stay Alive" for defamation just because the simple link between this movie and New Orleans will undoubtedly cause the city irreparable damage.

The basic idea of "Stay Alive" is that a group of kids starts playing a video game called "Stay Alive" and a few of them die in real life exactly like they do in the game, causing their remaining friends to wonder what in the hell is going on.

This isn't exactly a good premise for a film because most normal people think to themselves: "Aha! I'll just stop playing the game before I die. Problem solved." To their credit, the filmmakers actually brainstormed that one out and they've concocted this whole explanation about a woman and a plantation and how the video game has reanimated her ghost - or something like that.

Not to their credit is the fact that the movie falls completely apart once the link between death in the game and death in real life disappears. Left to figure out the convoluted explanation for what's going on is Hutch (Jon Foster), Abigail (Samaire Armstrong), Swink (Frankie Muniz), October (Sophia Bush) and Phineus (Jimmi Simpson).

The fact that "Stay Alive" finished third at the box office the week it opened speaks to the desperation of 13-to-17-year-olds for quality entertainment. If horror films aren't rated "R" then they're usually not very scary and this film is no exception. It's far more stupid than scary. In fact, it's more of a comedy than a horror film. Among the gems is the ridiculous back story of Hutch, who aside from teaching dating skills to woodworkers in a past life or a past movie, watched his father burn his mother alive and regrets to this day that he wasn't old enough to do something about it. Oh, and he hates fire, which in amateur horror filmmaker speak means that Hutch will start a fire in the last ten minutes of the movie to save the day and regain his self-esteem. There's also the ridiculous story of Abigail, who lives in her van, down by the river… seriously.

The best way to stay alive during "Stay Alive" is to just avoid the whole mess in the first place.

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