It’s been 14 years since “Stay Alive” was released and it is still one of the most unique horror movies of all time. We have seen movies having haunted DVDs and VHS tapes, but having a haunted game in the plot was something spectacular.
The whole plot revolves around a haunted game named “Stay Alive”, in which the players die the way their character dies the same way their character does. It is a survival horror game based in the mansion of Elizabeth Bathory also known as the Blood Countess. The Countess is the main villain character in this movies from the beginning till the end.
The movie did not garner much reputation and the ratings it received were 5.1/10 by IMDb and 10% by Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, this movie did have the potential to breakthrough the par but it might be the limited budget that didn’t help it get there.
The Characters in the Movie
The main characters in the movie are Adam Goldberg who plays Miller, Jon Foster playing Hutch, Sophia Bush playing October, Samaire Armstrong playing Abigail and Frankie Muniz playing Swink. The Countess Elizabeth Bathrow has been played by Maria Kalinina. Jon Foster who plays the role of Hutch has the leading role in the movie along with Samaire Armstrong.
The Prayer of Elizabeth
The game starts with “The Prayer of Elizabeth” that is a terrifying request for all who resist” to perish so that their blood might keep her young or something like that. The whole prayer of Elizabeth goes something like this:
“Come to me, clouds. May you rise as an evil storm born to rip them open. Let the cover of night bear witness and destroy those who resist so they shall harm me not. Let the blood of many cleanse me, preserving beauty eternal, I pray you.”
This whole quote is even seen in the diary of the Countess Elizabeth which is discovered by Abigail in-game. After the voice over completes this prayer in the opening of the game, the players are welcomed and are told that they have made a great mistake by hearing it.
According to the story, The Countess Elizabeth Bathory was locked up in the tower of her mansion for her grisly and ghastly deeds. She had vowed to return one day for her revenge and now by reciting “the Prayer of Elizabeth”, she has been brought back to life.
The Interface of the Game and Its Depiction in Reality
The game that has been shown in the movie was very well developed as it had a great interface and was close to reality. The Garouge plantation and the mansion shown in the game were realistic.
Even the way the characters died in the game was very well acted in reality, which made this movie more exciting. The opening of the game as well as the scenes that happen in it later, would really frighten you. It gives the audience an idea about how the player is about to die.
The Hacks in the Game and Countess’ Cheating
While trying to put an end to all of the fiasco the players had started by resurrecting the Countess, they explore a fact that they can get the in-game weapons in reality. Hutch and Abigail enter the estate to kill the Countess, while Swink stays in the van to distract Bathory.
Swink keeps on surviving in the game somehow but the Countess comes in real life to kill Swink despite the fact that he is not dead in the game. That’s Cheating!
However, Swink survives the attack as he runs through the field of wild roses. This is another hack that October revealed that the spirits cannot move across wild roses. Similarly, Abigail and Hutch use wild roses to protect themselves from the spirits that chase them at the estate.
Hutch’s Fear of Fire
Hutch hated fire because it brings back the dark memories from his past. His father burned the house, while he was locked in the room with his mother. Poor Hutch could not save his mother and he watched her burn to ashes.
The final scene of the movie brings back this painful scene of his past in front of his eyes when he encounters the countess and tries to kill him.
Finding the Developer of the Game and How to Kill The Countess
While searching for clues at Loomis’ house, Hutch and Abigail find Loomis’ phone and a name Malkus in it. The Game was developed by Malkus (role played by James Haven), who’s own house was at Garouge Plantation.
October discovers that the only way to kill the countess is by driving three nails in her body to trap her evil soul.
The Reality of the Countess of Garouge Plantation aka Bloody Countess
Not sure how true the legend is, but according to the sources, Countess Elizabeth Bathory was a real person. She is known as a fierce and remorseless serial killer in the history. She belonged to a Hungarian family and was widowed when she was 43 years old.
Legend is that she used to torture and kill young girls that were her servants’ daughters and other local girls. She believed that by drinking the blood of young girls, her beauty and youthfulness would be preserved. According to a witness, she used to stab her victims, cut them with scissors or sometimes burn them.
When the word reached the Hungarian authorities, they locked her up in Csetje Castle in solitary confinement. She died there at the age of 53 in 1614. Since then, she has become a symbol of terror and tales of her haunting have been told to children from generation to generation.
Wrapping it Up
The fact that the story of the movie is backed by history, it makes it more interesting to watch. The CGI and the art direction of this movie are amazing and there are some scare jumps to frighten you. The concept of the movie was something out of the box and needs to be appreciated. However, no doubt that if there was a remake of this movie, then we can expect something much better from it.