A more appropriate title should have been “Stay Away”.
A potentially interesting concept, though shamefully stolen from films like The Ring, a group of trendy gamers who buy all their clothing from Hot Topic accidentally happen upon a cursed Playstation 2 survival horror game called “Stay Alive”. The game is based on the murderous Elizabeth Batherly and the players have to uncover the mystery of her killing-spree and “Stay Alive”. But all these kids totally suck and can’t manage to “Stay Alive” for crap. So however they are killed within the game, they are killed the same way in real life. That may sound entertaining, but the PG-13 rating sucks all the gore and suspense right out of it.
Just about the only satisfying portion of the movie, and the only segment that can be considered even remotely “scary”, is the first five minutes where you assume the first person perspective of one of the in-game characters, and wander through the darkly lit corridors of the haunted house, being chased by zombie children hanging off the walls.
However, that’s only the first 5 minutes. The remaining 75 are nothing but the standard cardboard cut-out characters (the bitchy goth chick, the loud-mouthed jackass, the stoic hero, the quiet girl, the hyper active youngster) being bumped-off in all manner of wholesome PG-13 ways while they make all the wrong choices and have you either sleeping, groaning or demanding your money back.
There are no real twists or turns, and characters seem to just “know” certain key bits of information by reading an ancient text for five minutes (the goth chick is the most annoying in this department). All while this is going on, the characters name-drop various video games and related accessories to make the undersexed 1337 gamers of the world squeal because “OMG I get that reference!” This movie is basically what would happen if G4/Tech TV had their own Hollywood production studio.
I can also sum up in two words the major contributing factor which made this movie so irritating: “Frankie Muniz”. His character is one of those annoying hyper-active know-it-all gamers you probably have crawling all over your high school, and you just want to deck him in the face. As a matter of fact, you’ll want to slug most of the cast in the jaw or eye-socket, even the women, because it’s just the typical human reaction to torture.
So on the “Relative Grading Scale of Scary Video Games”, a GOOD movie would rate as a “Silent Hill” or there-abouts. However, this was not just a BAD movie, but a VERY BAD movie, so it can rate no higher than “Dig Dug”.
I just want director William Brent Bell to know that Uwe Boll would be proud.