Ever thought Disney would delve into the world of horror? While the name conjures up images of singing princesses and whimsical adventures, there’s a lesser-known side to the Magic Kingdom that’s decidedly darker. Enter “Stay Alive,” a 2006 slasher film that has since earned a cult following despite a rocky start.

In an effort to reach more mature audiences, Disney launched Touchstone Films in 1984, wowing viewers with hits like “Armageddon” and “Signs.” Yet, even as Touchstone started to fade, Disney wasn’t done experimenting with adult themes. Hence, Hollywood Pictures was born, and it gave us classics like “The Sixth Sense.” But then came “Stay Alive,” a video-game-infused horror flick that swapped fairy tales for blood-curdling scares.

Set in the not-so-distant past, “Stay Alive” tells the story of Hutch, played by Jon Foster, who comes across a mysterious video game after his friend’s gruesome death. The grim twist? If you die in the game, you die for real. Inspired by the legend of Elizabeth Bathory, a notorious European noblewoman, the game subjects its players to a series of deadly trials. Despite a moderate kill count, the movie’s unique integration of gaming elements made it a standout.

While the film initially faced critical scorn, including poor reviews from The New York Times and L.A. Weekly, its unconventional approach and memorable cast – featuring Frankie Muniz and Jimmy Simpson – have garnered it a devoted fan base. Online critics and YouTubers have revisited the film, praising its adventurous spirit and nostalgic value, lending it the cult classic status it enjoys today.

Rumors of a sequel have been bubbling since late 2022, spurred by the lingering cliffhanger suggesting the haunted video game would soon be available to the wider public. Could Elizabeth Bathory’s malevolent spirit make a grand return? Only time will tell, but fans of this underrated gem remain hopeful.

If you haven’t yet experienced “Stay Alive,” it’s available for rent on Prime Video and iTunes. Ready to play – if you dare? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and don’t forget to let us know if you survived the game!