‘Some things should stay buried’
Stay Out Stay Alive is a 2019 American horror feature film about five young hikers whose discovery of an abandoned gold mine leads to madness.
Co-produced, written and directed by Dean Yurke – making his directorial debut – the Brainstorm Motion Pictures production stars genre icon Barbara Crampton, Brie Mattson, Brandon Wardle, Sage Mears, Christina July Kim, and William Romano-Pugh.
Shadowed by a haunting presence in the redwood forest, five young hikers discover an abandoned goldmine dating back to the Gold Rush and descend into madness and greed as the pursuit of easy riches consumes them.
After an earthquake plummets Donna – one of the hikers – down a mine shaft where she is pinned under a rock, the group must choose between saving their friend or taking their time to unlawfully mine the forbidden gold for themselves.
As the group degenerates into conflict, a ghostly remnant of the mine’s past ratchets up the horror of the unfolding events…
Reviews [may contain spoilers – click links to read more]:
“Stay Out Stay Alive benefits greatly from a sense of authenticity. I assume it was filmed on a set, but the mine looks completely real. That creates claustrophobia and amps up the overall tension. Yurke also continually devises new twists that put his characters in increasing danger.” The Aisle Seat
“Stay Out Stay Alive isn’t a reinvention of its genre or even a particularly deep exploration into the nature of human greed – in spite of the literal depths of the story’s mineshaft – but it is a very solid genre exercise that competently uses the tropes and tools of psychological horror to remind us to be careful of what we wish for.” Birth. Movies. Death.
“Not only is the film bubbling with tension, but it also sends a powerful underlying moral and social message to the audience. Yurke smartly opted for more subtle effect, despite his visual background, which allowed the characters and the suspense to carry the plot.” The Blogging Banshee
“Writer/director/producer Dean Yurke has crafted a nifty, taut feature rich in atmosphere, from the beautiful forest landscapes to the claustrophobic mine, and with a terrific storm sequence in the third act. Cinematographer Bill Holshevnikoff captures these settings beautifully, with the electrifying storm action being one of many highlights.” Gruesome Magazine
“The acting was convincing, and it was cool to watch the cast deconstruct into their baser impulses of greed and arrogance. The climax is suspenseful. And I admit I was loving it when karma kicked their asses! When everything falls apart, the supernatural curse takes over. And no one wins except nature…” Morbidly Beautiful
“Yurke shows real promise as a cinematographer, and I think he’ll make a fine director. The story is solid, and the foundation curse is pretty good as well, but as a writer of dialogue, he has a way to go. The plot is fairly predictable, and the film is at its weakest at the emotional high points of the film.” The Scariest Things
“The premise lends itself to a lot of exposition regarding curses and inhuman events that happened during the Gold Rush that benefit the sense of unease in the film. We see well-rendered creatures in the shadows and the darkened woods that work perfectly for any haunted horror story.” Trouble City
Cast and characters:
- Barbara Crampton … Ranger Susanna
- Christina July Kim … Amy
- Sage Mears … Donna
- Brie Mattson … Bridget
- David Fine … Officer Drake
- Brandon Wardle … Reese
- William Romano-Pugh … Kyle
San Francisco Bay Area, California
- 85 minutes
- Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1