Stay Alive

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Stay Alive
Stay Alive poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Brent Bell
Produced byPeter Schlessel
James D. Stern
Matthew Peterman
Written byWilliam Brent Bell
Matthew Peterman
StarringJon Foster
Samaire Armstrong
Frankie Muniz
Jimmi Simpson
Milo Ventimiglia
Sophia Bush
Adam Goldberg
Music byJohn Frizzell
CinematographyAlejandro Martinez
Edited byMark Stevens
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures (North America)
Universal Pictures (international)
Release date
March 24, 2006
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[1]
Box office$27.1 million[2]

Stay Alive is a 2006 American supernatural slasher film directed by William Brent Bell, who co-wrote it with Matthew Peterman. The film was produced by McG, and released on March 24, 2006 in the United States, it was the first film in five years released by Hollywood Pictures, and also Disney's only slasher film (not counting any from Dimension Films before 2005, nor those inherited from the 20th Century Fox catalog).


After playing a video game titled Stay Alive, Loomis Crowley, his roommate Rex, and Rex's girlfriend Sarah are killed in the same way as their characters were killed in the game.

At Loomis' funeral, his friend Hutch meets Abigail – a friend of Sarah – and receives some of Loomis' possessions, including Stay Alive. Hutch and his friends, including October and her brother Phineus, decide to play the game as a group, they are joined by Abigail and another friend, Swink, while Hutch's boss Miller plays online from his office.

The game is set in a derelict mansion on Gerouge Plantation, but it only starts when the six players recite "The Prayer of Elizabeth," a request for "all who resist" to perish so that their blood can keep the Countess Elizabeth Bathory young; the players then fight through a cemetery of evil ghost children, heading toward a mausoleum and tower. Miller is directed by the game to pick up a rose. October, a reader of occult literature, explains that undead spirits cannot move across wild roses. Separated from the others, Miller throws the rose to dispel the spirits of undead girls. Now out of roses, a woman in a red dress, the Countess, stabs and kills Miller's unprotected character; the group decides to stop playing for the night. Minutes later, the Countess appears in Miller's office and kills him by stabbing him in the neck with conjoined scissor blades like the ones in the game.

Two detectives, Thibodeaux and King, question Hutch about the homicides. Hutch realizes that Loomis and Miller played Stay Alive right before they died, and that they died the same way as their game characters. Later, October researches Bathory and learns she would drain young women of blood, bathing in it to maintain her youth, her weakness was mirrors, because she could not stand to see herself growing old. Elsewhere, Phineus decides to play alone, and despite quitting the game before his character can die, he is killed in real life when he is run over by a horse-drawn carriage; the survivors agree to stop playing Stay Alive until they can learn more about it. However, Detective King ignores Swink's warning and plays until his character dies. Undaunted, King looks for Stay Alive at a gaming store, but the clerk has never heard of it, unfortunately King is later killed in his car after leaving the store.

Hutch and Abigail search Loomis' house and learn of the game developer's location: the real Gerouge Plantation. October has discovered that the real Countess Bathory was locked in the tower of her estate as punishment for her gruesome acts and vowed to return one day for revenge, which she is now able to do, as The Prayer of Elizabeth resurrected her. October reveals that the Countess can only be killed by driving three nails into her body to trap her evil soul. October sees the Countess in a house under construction and tries to kill her to avenge Phineas but realizes that she is a ghost and is hung upside down and her throat slit by the Countess; the three survivors realize that once the game has begun, it can play by itself. Swink stays in a van and plays the game on his laptop to distract Bathory, while Hutch and Abigail search Gerouge Plantation.

The Countess begins cheating, arriving in her carriage to kill Swink in real life, even though his character is still alive. Swink decides to run for it until he falls over into a bush of roses and is seemingly killed by the Countess with her shears. Hutch and Abigail return to the van to find Swink's character dead, they take the laptop and some wild roses, which they drop to deter undead children as they cross the cemetery toward the tower. When Hutch and Abigail become separated, he continues without her to perform the ritual on Bathory's body. Bathory's phantom attacks Abigail, who has one rose left. At the top of the tower, Hutch finds the preserved, inert body of Elizabeth Bathory and hammers three nails into it, after which the spirit stops attacking Abigail; when Bathory's body reanimates, Hutch retreats and knocks over an oil lamp, spilling oil across the floor. Recalling that the Countess hates mirrors, Hutch uses the reflective laptop to repel her before setting the room ablaze. Swink, still alive due to being surrounded by roses earlier and carrying more roses, bursts in with Abigail and rescues Hutch; as Bathory's body burns, the three leave the tower.

Meanwhile, the gaming store from earlier is now selling copies of Stay Alive.


Box office[edit]

Stay Alive was released in U.S. theaters on March 24, 2006. The film opened at #3 in the U.S. box office with $10.7 million that first weekend. It ultimately grossed a total of $23.08 million in the United States.[2] The movie grossed a total of over $27.1 million worldwide.[2]

Critical reaction[edit]

The theatrical version received negative critical reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 24 out of 100, based on 17 reviews.[3] Rotten Tomatoes holds this film with a 9% "rotten" rating.[4]

Writing for Newsday, John Anderson commented that "'Stay Alive' spends a lot of time inside the video game system, and what will terrify the audience very early on is the realization that there's better acting in the video game than on the big screen."[5] Meanwhile, writing for Variety, Anderson concluded: "Seldom is there anything close to real passion or panic on display here from cast members."[6] Gregory Kirschling of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a D− and commented, "this dopey movie keeps flouting its own rules, so that one character who dies in the game gets to live, while poor suckers get offed for real even though we never saw their Game Overs."[7] Entertainment Weekly gave the "Unrated Director's Cut" version a C+.[8]

DVD release[edit]

The DVD was released in the United States on September 19, 2006, it was made available in an unrated edition (100 minutes) and a "13" edition (85 minutes). The 15 minutes of new unrated footage include a new character and subplot; the unrated edition features more adult material. As of December 2011, 874,827 DVD units have been sold, bringing in $13,636,869 in revenue.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Stay Alive (2006) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Stay Alive (2006). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  3. ^ "Stay Alive Movie Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic.
  4. ^ "Stay Alive (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  5. ^ John Anderson (March 26, 2006). "'Stay Alive': The videogame gorefest is a rather lethargic exercise in mayhem". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008.
  6. ^ Anderson, John (March 24, 2006). "Film Review". Variety. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007.
  7. ^ "Film Review". Entertainment Weekly. March 29, 2006.
  8. ^ Stransky, Tanner (October 25, 2006). "Stay Alive: Unrated Director's Cut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 12, 2019.

External links[edit]