Movies based around video games tend to be very hit or miss, especially when the game in question isn’t one in real life. 2006’s Stay Alive strived to be hip and cutting edge for its time, but it resulted in a supernatural slasher that largely went forgotten.
Looking back on it now, it seems like an odd blend of The Ring and Final Destination, but never reached the same heights as either. So on its 15th anniversary, we thought it would be fitting to look at 15 fun facts about Stay Alive!
1. Remains the only slasher movie to be distributed by Disney via their Buena Vista Pictures subsidiary.
2. It was co-writer/director William Brent Bell’s first horror movie. He would go on to direct The Devil Inside, The Boy, Brahms: The Boy II, as was as the upcoming prequel to Orphan.
3. Initially Ben Foster was offered the role of Hutch, but suggested they go with his brother Jon Foster, feeling he was better for it.
4. The movie’s supernatural villain Countess Elizabeth Báthory was a real person, known for bathing in the blood of virgins to maintain youth. In real life however, she lived in Hungary from 1560-1614, not New Orleans (which wasn’t even founded until 1718).
5. The characters also “discover” that the Countess moved to America 200 years ago, but again she died in 1614 and never lived in America (which was still in the early stages of colonization at her death).
6. The haunted house from the video was an exact replica from Sega’s The House of the Dead, released in 90’s.
7. Filming took place in May-June 2005, wrapping just 2 months before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. This was the last major film project to shoot there for nearly a year afterwards.
8. The Countess’ plantation they visit at the end is a real location in Louisiana, and has been used in other films like The Last Exorcism, Jonah Hex, and Free State of Jones.
9. A director’s cut was released, with an additional 15 minutes of footage. Much of it had been previously cut at the behest of the studio to obtain a PG-13 rating.
10. This extended version includes James Haven and Alice Krige as the creator and “author” of the game. Their parts were completely removed for the theatrical version.
11. Composer John Frizzell had previously done the music for Alien: Resurrection and I Still Know What you Did Last Summer. He would also go on to compose the scores for The Reaping, Legion, 6 Souls, and Fox’s TV series The Following.
12. The movie’s marketing featured Frankie Muniz prominently to use his popularity from Malcolm in the Middle, which was still running at the time. However he’s merely a supporting character, not the protagonist as the trailers suggested.
13. Despite the movie being entirely about a killer video game, it was never adapted into a real life game like so many other horror movies have been.
14. While the movie did gross $27.1 million on a $20 million budget, it was still seen as a flop given the cost of marketing it.
15. Along with the poor box office returns, most of the reviews were quite negative. The critical consensus was that it had a cool premise that was wasted in a lackluster execution.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments!