Stay Alive (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Hang on to your PlayStations, we're in for a bumpy ride. Among the 100 million gamers in the US today is a hardcore of horror aficionados who seek the latest in cyber-scares. The latest cult game, Stay Alive, isn't even on the market yet, but a group of young gamers in New Orleans have somehow got their hands on it - and one by one they're winding up dead, each killed in the same gruesome way that their characters expired in the game.

"Can we skip the cinematic foreplay - I wanna butter this muffin," says the most bumptious member of the group, just before he gets mown down by a coach and horses, the handiwork of a malign 18th-century revenant known as the Blood Countess. It's a variation on the Ring cycle, wherein students would watch a mysterious video, then die horribly within seven days.

Daft would be one word for it, though in the blood-spattered interfacing of the digital and the physical, it's also pretty entertaining.