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STAY ALIVE Director's Cut

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 101 minutes, bonus interactive menus, audio commentary, visual effects reel

STUDIO: Hollywood Pictures/ Spyglass Entertainment/ Endgame Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: 9-19-2006

STAY ALIVE is the latest in the horror genre which turns to a killer video game that brings forth the ghost of real life villain Elizabeth Bathory (aka the Countess of Blood). Anyone who dies in the game gets killed in the same way in real life.   The only way the players will stay alive if they don't die in the game and solve the mystery of the game (which starts to cheat when they don't play the game fast enough).  

I have many friends (offline and online) who are video game playing freaks (which isn't bad at all), but I have never got into being a serious video game player. It was always a thing I drifted in and out of.   so video game players might get a kick out of STAY ALIVE more than just regular horror film fans.

The unrated director's cut loses a couple of things while adding a couple of new characters and some added gore. STAY ALIVE is an entertaining horror movie where I just didn't feel anything for the characters including the guy who acts like Matthew Lillard on Prozac (Jimmi Simpson), Frankie Muniz, and the raven haired woman named October. In a way, I feel the most for the characters who survive and saw a twist coming a mile off. It is a predictable film and I wish the other woman died instead of the other female character they offed. The subplot with the cops goes on for a while before vanishing to entirely focus on our video game players. I wonder if it is a missed opportunity. One last thing, the last 10 minutes are credits. I do feel that STAY ALIVE is screaming for a sequel if it does well on DVD.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

SPECIAL FEATURES: The interactive bonus menus are basically choosing the right clothes and weapons to get to other main menus. The visual effects reel is a 1 1/2 minute reel of the various effect scenes cut together in a music video style. Too bad they didn't have a featurette on the making of the film. However, the audio commentary for the film with director William Brent bell and co-writer Matthew Peterman reveals a lot about the production and the differences between the PG-13 and unrated director's cut (a couple of scenes were cut for the director's cut- too bad they weren't included as deleted scenes).

FINAL ANALYSIS: STAY ALIVE is a film with an interesting twist to a real life villain. Rent it. If you love it, buy the DVD.

this review is (c)9-20-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com