Movie Reviews

bellview--i love movies

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

Movie Awards
2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
2006 Roundup
2007 Roundup
2008 Roundup
2009 Roundup


"Stay Alive"

Directed by William Brent Bell.
Written by William Brent Bell and Matthew Peterman.
Starring Jon Foster, Samaire Armstrong, Frankie Muniz and Adam Goldberg.
Release Year:  2006
Review Date:  3/27/06


Here's the thing about complete fucking dogshit--I fucking love it.

And, in even considering dropping $6 at the theater behind my apartment building to watch the new death-by-video-game soft-core horror flick "Stay Alive", you have to have the mindset going in that not only could your movie of choice suck, but it could cross into uncharted shitastic territory.  "Stay Alive" is bad, but not legendary in its shittiness like you would hope for a movie aspiring to Hard Vice status.

Hutch (Jon Foster, a major star who starred as "Gas Station Attendant" in "T3" a few years back) has got a problem--one of his best friends died after playing a strange horror survival game just the other night, and now that he has a copy of the game in his hands, he decides to play it with some friends of his...and, in a shocking turn of events, everyone that played the game starts dying in real life in ways similar to how they died in the game!  Holy fucking shit!  An amazingly dumb film ensues.

Seriously, "Stay Alive"--another in the long line of new-fangled "horror" films that somehow is only violent enough for a PG-13 rating--is pretty fucking bad, thanks to B-list stars like Frankie Muniz and Adam Goldberg showing up just long enough to die onscreen or a premise so crazy unrealistic that even I spent time wondering how someone could write a script about a video game that seems to have no programmers, no testers, no marketing department and no publishing company.  Further, the logic of the game is all fucked up; wow, the story for this shit is bad.

And, giving us not many scares but a couple of kills that seem like they are pretty violent, "Stay Alive" never really scared me.  Oh, look, that one guy walked into the road and got hit by a made-up horse-and-buggy that showed up on a road where no other cars seem to be...and, NO ONE discovered the body for minutes while the others drove around looking for this dumbass.  Oh, look, that woman has got some badass shears...oops, she just killed someone, blah blah blah.  "Stay Alive" needs blood and guts to be at least a little more effective, but with a PG-13 we don't really even get shots of each murder.  Boo.

Wow, I don't even want to write about this bullshit, it was so bad.  But, I'm glad I saw it, because now I can pad the stats as I move into the second quarter.

Rating:  Hard Vice


Comments?  Drop me a line at


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09