The movie starts off with a young guy playing a new survival-horror type video game. We are brought into a video game footage sequence. During this sequence, we see a flashing bloody red eye for a couple of seconds. A loud scream is then heard, and we are taken deep into the woods, to a huge Victorian style mansion (like a plantation house). As the camera zooms to the front door of the mansion, we see a male video game character standing by the door. The man enters the creepy house and looks around. As the man explores the hallways of the house, another loud scream is heard, which spooks the man out. He continues to walk down the hallways. The man comes to a stop and hears creaking footsteps approaching him. The footsteps stop and the man holds up his source of light. A creepy women is seen standing in the distance wearing a red outfit. The mans light source goes out, and the women begins to chase him. The man heads for the front door, but it closes in front of him, locking him inside. A child like creature is then seen crawling across the walls of the mansion. The man runs up the stairs and encounters a small demon like figure. The man then stumbles into a bedroom, which is covered in blood. There are two bloody dead bodies; one laying in bed and the other chained upside down from the ceiling. The women in red then pops out and pushes the man off of the staircase balcony, causing his neck to wrap around a chain and hang to his death.
We go to reality and meet the guy playing the video game; Loomis (Milo Ventimiglia), who works as a video game tester. Loomis looks at the TV screen in shock, over what he just played. He picks up the phone and calls his gamer friend Hutch (Jon Foster). Hutch answers, and Loomis tells him that there is a new survival horror game called "Stay Alive". The game is unheard of and the origins of the game are unknown. Hutch says he will be over in a little while.
It is stormy outside and Loomis makes his way up the stairs. He walks down the upstairs hallway and hears a banging noise coming from one of the rooms. Loomis slowly opens the door and finds his friend Rex, having sex with a girl in the bedroom. Rex is wearing a pig's mask. Loomis is yelled at by the girl for not knocking. "I found you guys in the game, you got it good!", Loomis says. Rex says that he hasn't played the game for hours. Loomis closes the door and tells Rex not to mess up any of the bed sheets.
Loomis goes to bed, but is soon woken up by a noise, causing him to spring up in bed. He tries to turn his bedroom lights on, but they don't work. Loomis heads downstairs with his lighter and is then spooked out when his lighter nearly blows out. He walks into the kitchen and grabs a glass of milk. Loomis heads back down the hallway and encounters a dark shadow figure standing there. It is the women in red from the video game. In a state of fright, Loomis runs up the stairs and opens the bedroom door where Rex was. Instead, Loomis finds the girl and Rex slaughtered all over the bedroom, just like the scene in the video game earlier. Out of nowhere, a chain wraps around Loomis' neck. Loomis is pulled off of the staircase balcony, as he hangs to his death. Loomis died the same way he died in the game...
The next morning, we see Hutch at work. Miller (Adam Goldberg), his boss, calls Hutch into his office. It turns out that Miller is a hardcore gamer, like Hutch. Miller asks Hutch how to beat a certain level in a video game, and Hutch tells him. The office phone rings and it's for Hutch. Hutch is told that his friend Loomis has been murdered along with two other people.
Hutch attends Loomis' funeral the next day. While there, he meets an old friend of Loomis' named Abigail (Samaire Armstrong). She is a photographer. Abigail asks Hutch how long he has known Loomis, and Hutch says since they were kids. Loomis' little sister approaches Hutch, ! and hands him a brown bag. The bag is filled with all of Loomis' violent video games. The little sister isn't allowed to play violent games, so she gives them all to Hutch. Hutch and Abigail exchange phone numbers and say goodbye.
After the funeral, Hutch stops by at a coffee shop. Hutch's Goth friend October (Sophia Bush) owns the place with her brother Phineus (Jimmi Simpson). Hutch shows October Loomis' bag of video games. Phineus pulls out the game "Stay Alive" from the bag. Hutch tells Phineus to put the game back in the bag, because "Stay Alive" was the game Loomis played the night he died. Phineus, being the extreme gamer he is, is dying to play the game simply because he has never heard of it.
Hutch goes back to his apartment and tries to relax. The doorbell rings and Hutch answers it. Hutch's friend Swink (Frankie Muniz) is at the door with some video game equipment. October and Phineus soon arrive at Hutch's apartment with large screen monitors and game controls. They all set up the equipment and get ready to play. Abigail arrives at the last second and says she wants to join the group in the game. The five friends put their headsets on their head, and their controllers in their hands. Back at the office, Miller is also signed into the game. The 6 friends can communicate via headphones to each other. (It's pretty much like an Xbox Live sort of thing). The game gets booted up and the friends are ready to play. Phineus explains some background information on the game. He says the title is "Stay Alive" and it's a survival-horror game. (Like "House of the Dead" meets "Fatal Frame"). Before they can begin the game, some writing comes onto the screen. The writing is some mystical prayer (witchcraft spell). The friends become confused by this prayer. Phineus suggests they chant the prayer out loud. The friends chant the prayer out loud and the game begins. The friends select and design their characters. The game is ready to be played.
What does Phoebe find out on her thirtieth birthday?
She's actually 31
A brief voice over introduction comes on explaining that "Stay Alive", is based on the true story of a 17th-century noble women knows as "The Blood Countess". Her real name is Elizabeth Bathory. The Blood Countess has killed hundreds of people and is obsessed with preserving her youth. The voice over continues to explain that Rose flowers have a negative effect on The Blood Countess (sort of like a protection spell). Lastly we hear that Elizabeth Bathory's evil spirit will return one day.
The game starts and we are taken deep into the woods to a plantation house. In the game we see 6 game characters holding weapons, waiting outside the gates of the mansion. Hutch's character approaches the entrance gates first. Out of nowhere, a demon child pops out and attacks Hutch's character. Hutch shoots the demon child, killing it. At this point a rose shows up and it is explained that when their characters feel there is too much danger they only need to drop a rose to thwart the evil for some time. As hours of intense game play goes on, the game characters become split up in the mansion. The friends seem to be stuck in the game at this point. Miller's character enters a room known as 'The Torture Chamber'. Miller puts down his controller and begins to smoke a cigarette. He is all alone in his office and he becomes more and more freaked out by the game. Miller sees a shadow walk past his doorway and hears some noises. "Hey is somebody out there?", Miller cries out. We go back into the game and see The Blood Countess (the women in red) attack Miller's character with a sheers. The Blood Countess stabs Miller's character, killing his character. Game Over for Miller. "Ah she got me! Some women man!", Miller says over the game headsets. Hutch and the friends decide to call it a day and shut the game off.
Miller turns off his game and leaves the office. He walks around his office as strange noises are heard. This causes Miller to head back to his office, and encounter The Blood Countess. She takes out her sheers and kills Miller. Miller died the same way he died in the game...
The next morning, Hutch arrives at work only to find police all over the building. Two cops (one by the name of Charles) comes up to Hutch and asks him questions. Hutch says that him and Miller were just playing an online video game last night. The cops say they will contact Hutch if he has any further questions. Just before Hutch leaves, he sees Miller's dead body with a scissors sticking out of his throat.
Back at the coffee shop, Hutch tells his friends what happened to Miller. He explains to Abigail and October that Miller died the same way his character died in the video game. Phineus and Swink really don't believe Hutch. Phineus starts to play "Stay Alive" on his own, since no one else is in the mood to play with him. While in the game, Phineus' character runs into a horse carriage in front of the mansion. Inside the carriage is The Blood Countess. In the game he is using a mirror to see her which breaks, but he flips it around and because it's silver it doesn't shatter. At that point he pauses the game and we are left unaware of Phineus' character's fate. Abigail says that due to Hutch loosing his two best friends, he's a little on edge. Here Hutch starts to explain some of his past. He says his mom died when he was young and he has a terrible fear of fire. Abigail explains to Hutch that her family life was pretty much normal. She grew up in Georgia with her mom being a teacher. She also adds that she will be attending Princeton in the fall.
Later on, we see Swink playing the game. He is having some computer problems so he opens the computer up. At the same time we jump to October who is cleaning cappuccino machine and she sees a reflection of one of the ghost children. Back to Swink who sticks his hand in the computer to fiddle with some wires. When he pulls his hand out, he sees blood all over his hands. We go to Phineus who is fixing up his car. A big truck goes speeding passed Phineus, nearly running him over. Lastly, we go to Hutch shaving in the bathroom. He stares into the mirror and his eyes become all green and the glass mirror cracks. We then go back to Swink and we see the blood disappearing from his hands, and the green starts to disappear from Hutch's eyes. The game has become some what of a reality at this point.
The friends meet up after their few bizarre experiences. Hutch starts to elaborate on the fact that Miller and Loomis died the same way they died in the game. He then tells all his friends he doesn't want anyone to play the game anymore. The group is wondering where Phineus is. We cut to Phineus driving down a long stretch of road. The sun goes away and the weather becomes foggy and dark. Out of nowhere, a demon child from the game jumps in front of Phineus' car. He swerves out of the way and nearly hits a tree. Phineus gets out of his car to look for the demon child, but he is nowhere to be found. He radios to his friends on his Nextel and tells them what happened. They ask him where he is, and he tells them. They say they are on their way, but not to worry because he has not died in the game. He is in the middle of the road, and he is saying she only comes out at dark, and then it starts to get dark. Suddenly, the horse carriage comes speeding down the road and runs over Phineus, killing him.
Hutch, Swink, October and Abigail head to the scene of the crime and find cops everywhere. October is furious over her brothers death. Officer Charles and his partner start to think Hutch is involved somehow in these murders. Hutch and Swink start to show the officers the "Stay Alive" game and explain the 'You die in the game you die for real' theory. Officer Charles starts to play the game and we can see his character is in some real trouble just as Hutch realizes he has started to play the game he runs over and pushes the police man away from the computer.
We go back to the coffee shop and the friends decide they need to do something. Hutch comes to the conclusion that everyone died in real life the same way they died in the video game. October, Abigail and Swink finally agree with Hutch. October explains that she did some research on Elizabeth Bathory (The Blood Countess) and found out that Elizabeth Bathory was totally twisted. She also says that every detail of the "Stay Alive" video game is based on Elizabeth Bathory's real life; starting with the tower, the cemetery and the torture chamber. "The last thing Elizabeth Bathory said was that one day she would be back. So what if she's back and killing us one by one as we die in the game", says October. October has also found a book about how to kill witches from the Inquisition. She explains to the group that they have to take 3 nails, and nail her head, her heart, and one other place to attach the soul to the body. After that to kill her you have to burn her blood.
Abigail and Hutch decide to go to Loomis' house to see if they can find any other clues. Here Hutch explains to Abigail that when he was young, his mom died in a fire that his Dad caused. Hutch's father was then locked up until he will be 75 years old. As a kid, Hutch moved in with Loomis. Abigail and Hutch explore the house noticing that the mirrors are broken and the places where the deaths occurred in the house. They get to Loomis' room and Hutch knows where Loomis hides things in his computer, he brings out an organizer and gets the address of the game company.
During this time the police man who started the game is at a video game store and asks about Stay Alive. The clerk knows nothing about it, so the police man leaves telling his partner that it was a dead end. He gets into his truck and is killed by the Countess.
Because of the scuffle over the game at the crime scene of Phin, the police head to Hutch's place where October and Swink are. They have to leave in a hurry and everyone decides to meet back at Loomis' house.
Abigail, Hutch and Swink explore Loomis' house, while October stays out front and smokes. As October is smoking, she sees a house across the street under construction. While this is going on Hutch realizes the game is on and they realize they see October. They rush out of the house and start to search for her and it seems she has walked rather far from the house. Through the top window of the house, The Blood Countess is seen staring at October. October, furious at the fact that The Blood Countess killed her brother, runs into the house. October searches around the house and picks up a hammer. October then remember from doing research on The Blood Countess, one of the ways to stop her is to drive 3 nails into her body. October searches around and finds a box of nails. October then finds a nail gun and loads it up. She sees The Blood Countess standing over in the corner. October shoots the nails at the countess, but the nails go right threw her, since she's a ghost. October makes a run for it but her feet get tangled in some metal chains. The Blood Countess reels in the chains and has October swing upside down from them. The Blood Countess then takes a hammer, and slices October's neck, killing her. Abigail, Hutch and Swink eventually find October's body. Swink says that October didn't play the game, therefore she couldn't have died in the game. Hutch then says that the game is playing by itself, and becoming a reality.
The three remaining survivors get in Abigail's van and brainstorm on what they're going to do next to stop The Blood Countess. Hutch gets directions to the company building that made the "Stay Alive" video game, and heads there. Abigail comes out and confesses that she lied about her perfect family life. It turns out that Abigail's parents are not rich like she said. Abigail also adds that she is dirt poor and living in a van.
The friends arrive at the company building and search around. It turns out that the company building is actually a plantation house that looks exactly like the mansion from the "Stay Alive" game. Swink then realizes that the only way they can survive is if one person is playing while the others are searching for the body to destroy it. That way, Swink can hopefully keep the Countess busy while the others can search. Abigail and Hutch enter the mansion. After a few minutes of searching Swink realizes that the house he was in the game looks just like the house they are at. He then starts to give directions to Hutch and Hutch is curious how Swink is doing this. We go to Abigail who finds a hidden attic room. In the room, old newspapers cover the walls that mention Elizabeth Bathory. The lights go out in the room and Abigail is left in the dark. She flicks on her lighter and out pops one of the demon children. Swink helps Hutch get to Abigail by giving him directions, leaving him tools he will need and unlocking doors, we are seeing how reality and the game are merging here. Just before Hutch arrives Swink finds Abigail in the room and throws roses to save her. Hutch soon comes running in and saves Abigail.
We go back to Swink playing the game in the van. Swink pauses the game and steps out of the van to make a call on his cell phone. The van doors shut and lock Swink outside of the van. The game comes un paused and we see Swink's character being chased by The Blood Countess, Swink grabs his controller through an open window just in time to save himself and then realizes that reality and game are coming together again. Swink runs through the woods and trips over a bush. It's a thorny bush with red flowers (take a guess what kind) The horse carriage comes up to Swink and out steps The Blood Countess. We are left unaware of Swink's fate.
Hutch and Abigail run to the car and find Swink's computer and his character in a bush covered in blood with Game Over over the screen. Abigail finds rose bushes. Abigail remembers that from the game introduction, it was mentioned that Rose's damage The Blood Countess. Abigail then decides to load up on roses. Abigail and Hutch then run in the backyard of the plantation. As they search through the woods, they come across the cemetery from the game. They take a path and this leads them to a hundred foot tower. Suddenly, the horse carriage starts to come after them. Hutch pushes Abigail into the door and closes it with him outside. He takes out a rose and the carriage disappears. Hutch then joins Abigail and they search for the body of the Countess.
While in the tower, Hutch finds an underground passage way. This passage way leads to a large crypt like environment. Hutch and Abigail climb down into the passageway and walk through the hallways of the crypt. More demon children come out and chase the two. The Blood Countess then comes out and Abigail throws some Roses at her, which causes Elizabeth some damage. The two run into a room and lock the door. The room they are hiding in, is in fact the torture chamber from the game. With knives and chains all over the place, the two become more and more freaked out. They find another door, and Hutch enters first. Hutch quickly turns around and locks the door. This causes Abigail to be locked in the torture chamber. Through a small hole in the door, Hutch tells Abigail he must kill The Blood Countess on his own, he doesn't want to risk Abigail's life (there is some what of a love connection between the two). Hutch leaves Abigail and continues up the tower stairs. Abigail sits and waits inside the torture chamber, but the lights fade out and out comes The Blood Countess. The countess ties Abigail upside down from chains and taunts her with sharp knives.
Hutch reaches the top of the tower and comes across a small room with a bed. Laying on the bed, is the body of Elizabeth Bathory. Somehow, the body is very well preserved, but her face is still pale white. Hutch takes out some nails and begins to drive them into Elizabeth's body. The spirit of Elizabeth then disappears and Abigail is left hanging upside down, but she is still alive. The spirit then goes back into Elizabeth's body, causing the body to spring up in bed. The Countess is going after Hutch who remembered Phin saying something about a mirror that couldn't be shattered. Swink's laptop had a shiny metal casing. He takes it out and shows the Countess her reflection. She starts to scream giving Hutch the time to get to his lighter and light the tower and the Countess. The Countess is screaming in pain and eventually her body falls to the floor as it burns in flames. Unfortunately, the tower is also on fire too. Hutch cannot get the door open so he accepts the idea that he will burn to death.
Abigail shows up with Swink and the two kick the door open. They grab Hutch and run out of the burning tower. Swink was obviously protected by the rose bush he was entangled in. Abigail, Hutch and Swink are the only remaining survivors.
The last scene takes place at a video game store. We see an employee bring a box out from the back storage room and he opens it. Inside are hundreds of copies of the game "Stay Alive", all ready to be sold to customers. The gamer who the policeman had interviewed pops the game into a Playstation and starts to play. We hear the voices of the original 6 players reciting the prayer to start the game as the screen focuses on the Blood Countess up in her tower, waiting for the next player to come tempt their fate.