What we have here is a movie that breaks two rules even before you’ve walked into the theater. 1) It’s a movie based on a video game, but the video game doesn’t exist. (Which is a pity, because we could build it. We have the technology.) 2) The title is instructive rather than descriptive. Well, okay, maybe that’s not actually a rule, but it seems like it should be. Horror movie titles mostly tend to tell you either when you’re going to die or what is going to kill you, or every now and then why you’re going to die. Telling you to Stay Alive is both unprecedented and really quite redundant. Although I suppose Scream was kind of the same way.
Unfortunately, all similarities to Scream that I will be able to include in this review have come and gone. Basically, someone without a talent for tying up stray plots or thinking up particularly scary (or even gruesome) death scenes watched The Ring, and decided that if watching a tape can kill you, then by God, playing a video game can too. So, some gamer geeks play the video game, and then die. (Shocking!) Inevitably, the game was far better than the movie. The problem is, unlike the standard for this formula, I can’t even comfort myself by going back and playing the game.