Sam’s Lake (2006)

Directed by Andrew C. Erin [Other horror films: Playdate (2012), Havenhurst (2016)]

So Sam’s Lake is a movie I’ve seen a single time, that time being back in October 2009. I haven’t seen it since then, so revisiting it in October 2021, I was somewhat curious. I didn’t remember much about it aside from the fact that there was a lake involved, and so was certainly interested in seeing it again.

As it is, Sam’s Lake isn’t that good of a movie at all. The first 50 minutes or so were competent, as far as generic slasher-fare and character building is concerned, but some elements pop up toward the last third of the film that I just didn’t care for. Apparently this film is based off the director’s 2002 short with the same title, and I sort of wonder if that one had the same finale this one did, because if not, that short might be a better version of the same story. Regardless, the fact this is based on a short goes a long way to explain how threadbare this feels.

Fay Masterson, Salvatore Antonio, Sandrine Holt, and Stephen Bishop (who I randomly know from the sports drama Moneyball) all did a decent job, despite the fact that the story didn’t give a whole lot for some of these characters to do. There’s not a big cast in the film, though, and the fact that half of the main cast was decent is at least something to commend.

For the most part, though, this story is just generic slasher stuff, and absolutely none of it is surprising or noteworthy. None of the kills were really anything to write home about, and the twist that sets off the last thirty minutes was something I saw coming ten minutes in (and I know I said I’ve seen this, but given it’s been around 12 years, you can rest assured knowing I had forgotten about all of these characters, not to mention any twists the film might have had). There’s just little of interest here.

Sam’s Lake isn’t a good movie. If you want to see an okay slasher from the mid-2000’s, I guess you can go check this out, but I just don’t think most people would find it particularly worth it, and I suspect most would find this as forgettable as I have.


Wicked Little Things (2006)

Directed by J.S. Cardone [Other horror films: The Slayer (1982), Shadowzone (1990), Shadowhunter (1993), The Forsaken (2001)]

I can’t say that I love Wicked Little Things, because I don’t, but I do find it a moderately enjoyable film a lot of the time, and though I don’t think it’s great, at the very least it’s a movie that might be worth seeing a couple of times.

The emotional turmoil the main characters are going through (a mother with two daughters who has recently lost her husband) adds a lot of feeling to the film. Lori Heuring works great with Scout Taylor-Compton, and I buy the mother-daughter relationship. Throw in some political messages, and Wicked Little Things shows it has a bit more to offer.

Luckily, I don’t have much cause to speak about my politics in the course of reviewing movies. It may be relevant on occasion (The Thaw, for instance), but for the most part, the fact I’m on the far-left doesn’t really come into play. Here, though, we have children that were killed in a mine accident in the 1910’s coming back for revenge, which I certainly can’t fault them for.

Labor laws in the USA are still quite horrible (look at the lack of power so many unions have – any union that has a no-strike clause is functionally pointless), and if capitalism could get away with it, children would still be working in mines. You can work at 14 years old in many places (with restrictions). God bless capitalism, amiright?

Now, I think a fair point could be made that Wicked Little Things didn’t focus on this that much – even facing a descendant of the mine owner, none of this was on the forefront. Still, if you enjoy the eight-hour workday and the end of the worst of child labor, thank your local socialists and communists, as it’s due to their fight that we have those nowadays.

I wasn’t blown away by Lori Heuring (Hunger), but she did decent, and shined in her scenes with Scout Taylor-Compton (who went on to play Laurie in the Halloween remake). Taylor-Compton was perhaps my favorite performance here, on that note – she did great with the emotional scenes, and possessed a good strength. Chloë Grace Moretz (who later played Carrie in the 2013 movie, and also starred in 2018’s Suspiria) was decent as a child actress, though it’s hard to say that she really stood out.

Not a lot of other performances need be mentioned. I admit I liked seeing Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects), but he didn’t have a whole lot to do. Ben Cross did an okay job, and no doubt Martin McDougall did well as a dickish rich guy, but I do think his character could have done with, well, more character.

I do wish the movie had a bit more oompf come the finale, I admit. There were some elements that I was hoping would be delved deeper into, such as the miner’s lease or the relationship the Tunny family had with the mine-owners (the Carlton’s). I just got the sense a little more could have been fleshed out about some of this, and though the ending was okay, I feel it was weaker than it could have been.

Wicked Little Things isn’t above average, but I don’t think it’s really below average. I guess it’s fair to say, then, I think it’s average. I’ve seen this once before, and I think I enjoyed it more the first time I saw it, but that said, I didn’t have a bad time revisiting this. It’s not great, but it’s not awful, and certainly someone could do a lot worse.


Penny Dreadful (2006)

Directed by Richard Brandes [Other horror films: Out for Blood (2004)]

One of the many movies that I saw a long time back, and remembered very little of going into a fresh viewing, Penny Dreadful was an okay experience. It’s not a good movie, really, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it does possess some decent elements. I don’t think it’s something I’d want to throw on again in the future, but for a one-time viewing, you could do much worse.

Where Penny Dreadful shines, at least in the first half of the film, is the tension, which is built up well. I do think it falls a bit flat the longer the movie goes on, but it can get pretty suspenseful at points. It’s nothing to shame Hitchcock or anything, but I was surprised by how well the tension was held. There were also some occasionally creepy scenes thrown in, which added to the fun.

Problematically, there’s not really enough meat to the story to justify an hour and a half film. For most of the movie, Rachel Miner’s character was trapped in a vehicle, being tortured by her own personal trauma (she has amaxophobia, or a phobia of cars) and a mysterious and violent hitchhiker. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I applaud the movie for being able to minimize their filming location, but I think it might have worked out a little better had the movie been tighter, maybe just 70 minutes as opposed to 90.

As it was, Rachel Miner did a pretty good job. Though she’s not a name I know (she was in Tooth and Nail, from 2007, but I’ve not seen that film in a long-ass time), Miner definitely had the ability to keep my interest in her character’s well-being alive. I was rooting for her all the way though. Mimi Rogers, in her limited screen-time, was solid. Others, including Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Deadly Blessing, and many others), Mickey Jones, Chad Todhunter, and Tammy Filor, seemed to just be thrown in to add a little more time, and none of them were relevant at all to the story.

This isn’t a particularly gory movie – we do see some people get stabbed, be it in the foot (which was, on a side-note, probably the best kill of the movie) or multiple times in the back, along with the aftereffects of someone’s toe being cut off – but none of these are done in overly gory fashions. It’s more the suspense and surprise that could make these scenes stand out, though I doubt anything here would end up being that memorable.

Overall, Penny Dreadful wasn’t a terrible time. I think my limited memory of the film was worse than how it actually goes. At worst, this movie could be said to be pretty forgettable. It is below average, but again, I’m impressed with a few elements here and there. I don’t think I’d want to see it again anytime soon, but if you want an okay movie to pass the time with, you might as well give it a shot.


Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws (2006)

Directed by Carlos Don Diego [Other horror films: N/A]

A couple of Octobers back, at the time of this writing (February 2021, for the record), I first saw this film, and from what little I remembered, it struck me as a joyless experience. After seeing it again, I can confirm, indeed, that ‘joyless’ is a pretty good description of this movie.

Certainly the quality is, at best, iffy. A lot of times, lower-budget films don’t bother me, and I like to think that this one doesn’t bother me due to the budget itself, but I won’t say that the evidently low budget wasn’t problematic, mostly in terms of the pitiful camerawork, some of which was downright painful to watch.

The story also isn’t my cup of tea – basically a group of vampires are warring with aliens referred to as “Outlanders” and there’s a traitor vampire who loves a human hillbilly, and this guy in question has a first-person narration thing going on. But it’s not just normal first-person narration, it’s sometimes goofy, ‘humorous’ first-person narration said in a serious tone, because that makes it better.

And that, of course, was a joke, as it just makes the dialogue throughout the film painful. Not that the movie wasn’t already painful (even at 80 minutes, Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws feels quite a bit longer), but the script was laughably inept, which is a shame, as I think that’s where this movie was trying to provide most of the ‘fun,’

Which is another interesting thing, now that I think about it. Despite the almost-fun title, this movie just feels drab and bland. Even the color palette seems drained and muted. I don’t know where this was filmed, but the landscape just seemed so bleh. If the story and script had been better, that probably wouldn’t matter, but as it is, it just adds another weakness to the film.

I was not wowed by either Adam Abram or Jenna Lisonbee. I certainly don’t blame either one’s performance for how the final product turned out, but at the same time, I can’t say that they were great. What I can say is that they’re the only ones who really stand out in any conceivable way. Their growing attraction to each other didn’t interest me, nor did the end, nor did anything else, but at least they stood out.

There was also a dearth of quality death scenes. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the Outlanders had green blood, but even with that in mind, and even with plenty of chainsaws and hideous fight sequences, there was almost nothing here. Most of the blood came from vampire chicks biting their wrists, so that’s grand.

Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws was a painful movie the first time I saw it, and seeing it again, I can fully say that it’s an experience almost-entirely void of joy, which is something I don’t say lightly. This was a poor film, and definitely not one I’d care to experience again at any point.


The House Next Door (2006)

Directed by Jeff Woolnough [Other horror films: Nightworld: Lost Souls (1998), Strange Frequency 2 (2002)]

This made-for-TV movie isn’t the most forgettable film I’ve ever seen (it helps that I’ve just seen it, to be sure), but I don’t think it has the staying power that the creators were probably hoping for, which is a shame, as the story itself isn’t too bad.

I’m not personally one to care about production value – there have been plenty of quality low-budget made-for-DVD and made-for-TV movies, and I don’t judge a film based on what money went into it – but that being said, a lot of this movie still came across to me as bland and occasionally uninspired.

Based off a novel by Anne Rivers Siddons of the same title, published in 1978, the story isn’t that shabby, and has some interesting ideas in it (such as going through different owners of the house and the varied misfortunes they encounter), but the film isn’t able to pull that together into that great a movie-watching experience.

For what it’s worth, I think most of the performances are okay, at least in that Lifetime movie way. Lara Flynn Boyle and Colin Ferguson are decent together, though maybe come out of this a little generic (and that first-person narration that popped up at the beginning and the end didn’t do them wonders). Mark-Paul Gosselaar (of Dead Man on Campus… fame?) was a bit soapy at times, but still serviceable. Of the people who temporarily brought the house, Noam Jenkins (who appeared in Saw II and IV) was the best, becoming an overly orderly and pompous jackass like few others.

There were some okay scenes here, such as a somewhat jarring suicide, and the uncomfortable way Jenkins’ character spoke to his wife during the dinner party, along with any of the scenes of the new home owners giving into the mental pressures of the new house, but all of it feels tame and bland, even when it really shouldn’t.

The House Next Door isn’t a bad story, but the execution wasn’t properly done. The movie was lacking in feeling, and though a few things were decent with it, overall, I can imagine this being one of the many post-2000 made-for-TV movies that people will watch once and forget entirely.


Dark Ride (2006)

Directed by Craig Singer [Other horror films: Perkins’ 14 (2009), 6:45 (2021)]

I think this is my third time watching Dark Ride, and the first time that I realized that it’s really not a good movie. It’s not a terrible movie, don’t get me wrong – if you want a quick slasher that has decent kills, then you could certainly do much worse. Even so, Dark Ride hits about the bare minimum of requirements, and I only just realized it with my most recent watch.

Most of the plot and kills strike me as competent (the blowjob decapitation perhaps standing out the most), with the only thing really setting this apart, at least to me, is the setting, and to be fair, it’s more or less just a rehash of Hooper’s The Funhouse anyway. None of the characters really stick with me, and some of the arguably better characters (Patrick Renna, for instance) sort of fall flat come the finale. Like I said, Dark Ride is competent, but it isn’t really much more.

It’s hard to say that anyone really stood out. Patrick Renna (Fear, Inc. and ‘Bad Blood,’ one of the best episodes of The X-Files) had charm at times, in his awkwardly geeky way, but he could also be a bit of a dick. At least he was somewhat memorable, though, as David Clayton Rogers and Alex Solowitz often feel as though they fade into the background.

Jamie Lynn-Sigler and Jennifer Tisdale were cute, I guess, but it’s Andrea Bogart who is clearly the VIP here, as far as actresses go. Her introductory scene cracks me up, and though she may just be a generic hippie character, I totally dug it. The killer (played by Dave Warden) had a decent-looking design, but wasn’t really anything special or that remarkable.

There is a bit of comedic value in the film. Nothing major, but a few quips here and there that I sort of chuckled at, such as Renna’s character apparently not knowing what a condom was, or Renna’s constant movie talk, and Andrea Bogart’s impassioned delivery about music, hitchhiking, and sexual assault, not to mention the scene at the gas station. There’s enough here to at least keep you amused even if the horror aspects were by-the-numbers.

Certainly I think the finale as a whole was laughably awful – while I liked aspects of the twist, I thought it came across as sort of cheesy, and not much of a shock. It’s not as though it ruined the movie, though, as the film still has a little entertainment value, but the ending was definitely something that could have been improved.

Dark Ride is entertaining to an extent, and if you’re a slasher fan, I doubt you’d have a terrible time with this, but it probably lacks what makes some of the best slasher films memorable, so it may best be suited for a single viewing as opposed to making any type of annual rotation.


This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Dark Ride.

Silent Hill (2006)

Directed by Christophe Gans [Other horror films: Necronomicon (1993, segment ‘#1: The Drawned’), Le pacte des loups (2001)]

Silent Hill is one of those films that I saw many years back, and haven’t seen since. It’s not one that crosses my mind too often, and I pretty much only recall confusion. To be fair, I’ve never played any of the Silent Hill games, nor watched any game-play, nor read any plot synopsis. The only thing I can really claim insofar as prior knowledge about the story is the Spanish film Broken Notes, which I didn’t even care for.

As it was, I was interested in seeing this one again with fresh eyes, but, and this wasn’t that much a surprise, I found that little changed. Aspects of the story were certainly decent, but boy, do I think the plot definitely needed some clarification somewhere along the way.

Lead Radha Mitchell was passable; I never felt strongly about her character one way or the other. The same can be said for Sean Bean’s character. Honestly, Sean Bean was pretty much a waste of time from beginning to end, because he never really added anything of any use whatsoever to the story. I sort of liked Laurie Holden (who appeared a year later in The Mist) here, but she also didn’t leave that huge an impression. And again, the same can be said for Jodelle Ferland, who I only mention because she later appears in a few movies I enjoy (The Unspoken and Neverknock).

I don’t think the problem is the cast, though, as uninspiring as I found them. It’s the God-awful story. And maybe the story’s not awful – maybe it was a clever look into multi-dimensional space using quantum physics and religious mania to showcase the dangers of rituals and doppelgängers or something. Don’t get me wrong – the Hellraiser-inspired chain massacre at the end was cool, but otherwise, I had a deep difficulty following along with this story. I won’t say that it wasn’t there for those who looked deep enough, but I didn’t see it.

If you came into this movie with some previous experience with the games, maybe a lot of this is easier to grasp. I certainly won’t discount that, and I know that this film, while still receiving somewhat mixed views, is generally, to an extent, liked. However, I definitely feel that aspects of the story could have been touched on more, and instead of feeling like things were muddled, what with doppelgängers and cults and multiple different dimensions (for some reason), maybe things would have felt more connected. Also, Pyramidhead looked cool, but was never explained, so that was fun.

Silent Hill isn’t a movie without potential. The atmosphere here was occasionally pretty solid, especially during the first half of the film. The problem is, Broken Notes did the atmosphere better. Like I said, I didn’t much care for that film (and for much the same reason as this one – the story befuddled me), but I got a much more genuine feel from that low-budget flick than I did this Hollywood production.

I may well be in the minority here, but I’ll find a way to live with that. Silent Hill was a poor movie that did a terrible job at actually giving the audience any reason whatsoever to care about the characters or the story. Just make things a little more clear-cut, and you might have a winner here. As it is, Silent Hill is definitely below average, and I can’t imagine a situation in which I’d want to sit through this two-hour long movie again.


This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as we discuss the film.

See No Evil (2006)

Directed by Gregory Dark [Other horror films: Night of the Living Babes (1987), Mirror Images (1992)]

God, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this slasher, and I forgot just how amateurish some aspects of this movie are. See No Evil gets a few things right, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the movie as a whole.

Before I skewer the film with my complaints, I’d like to say that the setting (a large, abandoned hotel) is on point. At times it felt a bit too gritty and messy, but still, I liked what they were going for. As for the kills themselves, there were decent. The idea of a large chain piercing your jaw, or impaling your leg and dragging you off, is pretty brutal, and of course getting your eyes ripped out would be a fate to avoid. There’s not a whole lot of gore here, but what they went with was still decent.

As for the story, though, boy, do some things bother me. Firstly, the idea of reducing one’s sentence by doing some work is fine and well, but they didn’t ensure there wasn’t a connection between any of the prisoners beforehand? As soon as it’s discovered one of the male prisoners had an unruly relationship with one of the women prisoners, either the male prisoner should have been removed immediately or the whole thing should have been scrapped.

Another thing – they take a group of eight prisoners to a hotel, give them some quarters after telling them to stay in their rooms, and though there are only two supervisors, they just go down to the bar and expect the prisoners to listen? Are you kidding me?

Once we get to the killings, the fact that the story’s pretty poor stops mattering, but there were some really questionable things in this script, and that includes the little twist at the end (I have a hard time believing that some of the background of certain characters didn’t go unnoticed or impact relations). There are aspects I liked about the route they took, but I just didn’t buy it.

I don’t know anything about wrestling, so I have no idea who Kane is, but he does decent here as a mostly silent serial killer. The little pieces of history they throw to us via flashbacks show what a terrible childhood he led (along with showing us the dangers of extremist religious beliefs), and does lend his character a bit of sympathy. I will admit to not understanding the tattoo thing, though – his mother pointed out to him that they were blasphemous, and he still rips eyes out of women who have them (see the opening), so why bother keeping them captive for a little if they have a tattoo? I just didn’t get it.

Other performances worth mentioning include Luke Pegler, Steven Vindler, and Rachael Taylor. Pegler’s character was awful throughout the film, as he was that macho-type guy who did idiotic things for no reason other than he can. He redeemed himself a bit when he started kicking ass toward the end, but his character was still atrocious. Vindler’s character was decently honorable in a way, though he didn’t add that much to the film, and while Taylor’s character was one of the most annoying, the fact that the actress later goes on to play Patricia Walker in the Jessica Jones MCU series is sort of interesting.

I need to mention this before getting to my rating, as much as I’d rather forget it. There’s a scene near the end in which a character falls out a window. That thirty second sequence, from the start of the fall to the landing, was drenched in some of the worst CGI I’ve witnessed recently. It just looked so bad. One thing about this film that I didn’t like at all was the editing, the quick, spooky cuts in rapid speed which made it seem more like a music video than a movie (which makes sense, as the director has done plenty of music videos in the past). Other films used this in worse ways (such as the utterly terrible Death Tunnel), but it was still annoying here.

Oh, and that extra post-credit scene? What a waste of time.

I liked some things about See No Evil, but other things were done utterly terribly. It’s a movie that might get by okay if you can ignore some story problems, or perhaps remove your own eyes so you don’t have to deal with the editing or CGI, but hey, the setting’s cool, and some of the kills are decent. It’s a below-average film, and very much a mixed bag.


This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested in hearing some quality conversation, check it out below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss See No Evil.

Dorm of the Dead (2006)

Directed by Donald Farmer [Other horror films: Cannibal Hookers (1987), Demon Queen (1987), Scream Dream (1989), Vampire Cop (1990), Invasion of the Scream Queens (1992), Savage Vengance (1993), Red Lips (1995), Red Lips II (1996), An Erotic Vampire in Paris (2002), Body Shop (2002), Red Lips: Eat the Living (2005), Chainsaw Cheerleaders (2008), Hi-8 (Horror Independent 8) (2013, segment ‘Thicker than Water’), Shark Exorcist (2015), Grindsploitation (2016, segment ‘Dirty Cop: Simon Says!’), Cannibal Cop (2017), Hooker with a Hacksaw (2017), Trashsploitation (2018, segments ‘Hooker with a Hacksaw’ & ‘Vampire Cop’), Cannibal Hookers (2019), Bigfoot Exorcist (2021)]

This movie is terrible in ways that few movies can compete with. It’s low-budget, sure, but the story is quite poor, the acting is laughable, and the amateurish nature of the film is overbearing. Even so, giving this one a second watch, I have to admit that it does possess just enough charm to ensure the movie’s not a complete waste (though make no mistake, it’s a close call).

No one in the cast does great, or even good (though certainly, some of the young women who get topless are rather scrumptious). However, I did derive some enjoyment from the main performances of Ciara Richards and Adrianna Eder. Both Richards and Eder are attractive in their own way, but I think Eder is the winner. Regardless, neither gives a great performance, but again, they bring some amusement to the film.

Jacky Hall, though, who played a bitchy Southern bully (she was born in Arkansas, and it shows) is the surprise star. Her performance is almost as terrible as the script (and that’s a hell of an accomplishment), and she brings some quotable lines to the forefront (‘Sit and spin, bitches’). Only two others are worth mentioning, including the science professor who had a vial of real Haitian zombie blood (Christopher Slade) and Kimberly L. Cole (‘Oh my God, is that a mouse? Oh, I think it’s a gerbil. Gerbils are so cute…’), who had a short, yet memorable, little scene.

By no means would I want to give off the impression that Dorm of the Dead is all sunshine and daisies, as some of this movie is really painful. The first ten minutes or so are focused purely on pointless characters who are all eventually killed by zombies. There’s a lesbian scene thrown in, so you get a bit more nudity, but neither of the women are at all important. After some credits, we’re gifted with what might be one of the worst scenes in cinematic history that I regret having watched (six, perhaps seven minutes of a guy telling a girl sexual innuendos and her being completely oblivious, only to be attacked by zombies at the end).

Also, the music here is terrible. It’s just random generic hard rock, none of it noteworthy in any way. As for the zombies? One randomly did a backflip early on, which didn’t much endear me to them. The effects, too, were poor, but given what had to be a very low budget, I’m guessing they did what they could. Also, while I’m grateful the movie ended (more than can be known), it was a very sudden conclusion.

The director of this movie, Donald Farmer, is somewhat a known quantity. Truth be told, I’ve not actually seen any of his movies beside this one (am I a lucky guy or what?), but I don’t think this was necessarily terrible. The script was, as I said, pretty atrocious – I really didn’t like the route this one took (one of the main characters got zombie blood poured down her throat, and is slowly beginning to crave human flesh, and eventually goes on a uber-scary rampage), which is probably the biggest issue I had with this one.

The thing is, as poor as many aspects of Dorm of the Dead are, the really terrible performances had me laughing, and while that by no means makes the movie a good one, having seen this one twice now, I admit that I could see myself giving this even another view in the future, for whatever that’s worth.


This film was discussed on Fight Evil’s podcast, so if interested, listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I talk this one over.

Stay Alive (2006)

Directed by William Brent Bell [Other horror films: The Devil Inside (2012), Wer (2013), The Boy (2016), Brahms: The Boy II (2020), Separation (2021), Orphan: First Kill (2022)]

This movie was shit.

Now, I’ve seen this before, but it was a long, long time ago, so I recalled very little of it. I was already hesitant about rewatching it, but since I plan on rewatching and reviewing every single horror movie I’ve seen, there was no avoiding it, so I went in with tepid expectations.

The movie failed even those.

Most of the performances are shit. Whether that’s because of the script or actors/actresses themselves, I can’t say. I just know that I pretty much didn’t like any of the characters (and in particular, Samaire Armstrong’s character). As a lead, Jon Foster was terribly generic and just not interesting. Armstrong seemed like a character originally thrown in to lead to some plot twist, but instead, she’s just some random girl who lies about her background and never amounts to anything.

Frankie Muniz didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t hate his character, per se, but I definitely didn’t care about him one way or the other. Sophia Bush and Jimmi Simpson made for an interesting sister-brother pair, and I’d argue that Bush was probably one of the best characters in the movie. It was also nice to see the Bunk, or Wendell Pierce, here. Stay Alive is a far-cry from The Wire, though.

It’s not just the characters, though.

I’m a very casual gamer, so much so that calling myself a ‘gamer’ is a stretch by any definition. Give me Minecraft, Civ 3, Democracy 3, and Hearthstone, and I’ll be perfectly content. I have watched quite a lot of gameplay, though, and I have to say that the game portrayed in Stay Alive didn’t look like any horror survival games I’ve ever seen.

The angles were all janky in the third-person mode (and why was it we basically only saw first-person mode once, I wonder), and there’s no way that could be that pleasurable a multiplayer gaming experience. We saw a HUD about only three times, and just generally, that didn’t look anything like a game. Now, to be fair, this was released in 2006, so maybe survival horror has come a long way, but we about never saw an inventory, or health bar (or even sanity bar, à la Amnesia). It didn’t look anything like a game. At all.

Also, the kills throughout the film sucked. There was virtually no gore (hey, it’s a PG-13 movie, so fuck gore, too violent for the kiddies and loses us money, amirite?), and the kills overall were just so damn tepid and unmemorable, which is a shame, as this film certainly had potential.

That’s probably what bothers me most – it’s not like this film was shot in someone’s backyard. The estimated budget is around 20 million dollars, and they couldn’t come up with a script that made any modicum of sense? Seriously, I don’t get it. So the ghost of Bathory somehow made a game, that some company got distributed to Beta testers, because why? What? What is this shit?

And the game keeps going so characters can basically die without playing, right? So one of the characters (played by Muniz) says that he’ll actually play the game, giving him a better chance at surviving. Fine – that’s logical. But the other people who are alive, one of which is driving, can’t play, and Muniz can only play for himself, not for the other characters, so why the hell doesn’t the ghost take out every character who’s not playing?

This movie, the more I think about it, just annoys the shit out of me. The story makes very little sense despite the budget and potential of a video game-based horror film. You want a good video game horror movie? How to Make a Monster (2001), which is much lower quality, but it’s 1) actually fun and 2) makes a hell of a lot more sense. This movie was virtually worthless, and the ending was shit too. Oh, the CGI zombie children were great. Terrifying stuff. A+!!!