A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Gamers are so devoted to their avocation that they don't attend to legal or other niceties; cops are arrogant and ineffectual; the monstrous Countess, of course, only means to grind them all down.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent jump scenes and scary music (not so effective, but the intent is clear); film opens on bloody eye; reference to a childhood trauma in which a father burned his wife to death and left his son to die; video game violence is bloody and brutal (stabbing, dismembering, hanging, shooting, crossbowing); real-life characters are similarly abused, and also run down by a horse-drawn carriage, splatted in a car (seen from a distance, blood on windows), nailed in the head, hung upside down, set on fire.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Early sex scene shows two young people, from the back, one wearing a pig mask; reference to " PDA sex thing" player gets excited and says, " can feel it in my pants."
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Some profanity, including s-word, "," hell," "," "," " Jesus," and some sexual innuendo.
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Products & Purchases
Alienware PCs, Steamboy movie poster, Fresca soda, Pontiac GTO.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes; one character appears passed out, then reveals the reason: a huge bong.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that film includes frequent references to killing and images of murder. Though most of the violent acts (stabbing, shooting, neck-slicing) are intimated rather than graphic, the bloody effects are very visible. The video game at the film's center is based on a real-life legend (a 17th-century Hungarian Countess who supposedly killed hundreds of children), and her young, white-gowned victim-ghosts appear as bloody, ravaged and broken (digitized) forms. After first murders (including a hanging), characters attend a funeral. One character lies about her family background (pretending to be of a higher social class). One early sex scene features two naked young people, one in a pig mask; the primary couple kisses near the end (typically, just when you think they should be running away!). Two characters smoke cigarettes; one smokes marijuana via a bong. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Ridiculous and then some, STAY ALIVE offers the usual slasher movie set-up: young people making one wrong decision after another. Here they're up against a video game character, the "Blood Countess" (Maria Kalinina), complete with red gown and pasty face. She's based on a real life Hungarian serial killer, transferred to New Orleans (where some of the film was shot, just before Hurricane Katrina hit last year), and is accompanied by ghosts of her victims, little girls in white dresses and J-horror-styled stringy hair.
The painfully necessary romance between Hutch and Abigail slows down the action somewhat, especially as she must send him forth to fight the Countess on his own, while she stays behind in a barred room and counts off rose petals to the hackneyed tune of "He loves me, he loves me not." This just before Swink comes back from the apparent dead, to restore the endangered pretty couple. Why, we'll never know.
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Our Editors Recommend
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