Starring Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling, Naomi Watts, Bob Hoskins, Janeane Garofalo
Directed by Marc Forster
Distributed by Fox Home Entertainment
We horror fans sure are fickle. We complain endlessly about PG13 horror movies, and then when a decent R rated film sneaks out, no one seems to care. Or maybe no one seems to know? The ad campaign for Stay wasn’t exactly stellar, so it could very well be that this film performed poorly at the box office as a result. I cry foul! Finally a horror film comes out with adults as stars instead the now prerequisite hot young cast that’s chock full of fresh faced teens without even the slightest bit of a blemish on their faces, and I can count the number of people I know that have seen this film on one hand even if I were missing two fingers. Such is life I guess. Thankfully, the good folks at Fox have finally let this baby creep its way on to home video, so now is your chance to seek it out and enjoy the ride.
Stay follows the exploits of a psychiatrist whose life is turned upside down by one of his new patients, a suicidal cynic by the name of Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling). Sometimes you can just tell a situation is not going to end well, and for Dr. Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) things have just taken a turn for the frightening. For Foster, Henry is a very special case. Not just because he’s nuts, but because ever since Henry strolled into his life he has begun to see things. Premonitions? Ghosts? Or maybe he himself is starting to go a little crazy. Either way the race is on for the good doctor to save the looney-toon and hopefully salvage his own sanity in the process.
As fans of the genre we’ve all sat through an endless barrage of supernatural thrillers with twist endings trying to find a good one. A twist can sometimes make or break a film. Sometimes they’re killer as in Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, and other times they can be (pardon the pun) senseless messes like Shyamalan’s The Village. (Somebody, please stop this guy. If I have to watch one more of his two plus hour long snooze fests, I’m gonna be the one seeing dead people as a result of the bullet that I’ll put through my own skull) After a while it seemed as if everyone wanted their own snazzy “GOTCHA!” ending for their movies, and as a result of over exposure we’re usually able to spot them from a mile away. Stay does indeed work some twist mojo during its finale but I have to say it got me despite multiple red herrings left along the way. Well written, well acted, and well rounded, Stay did exactly what it set out to do, and then some. This is a movie you’ll want to watch twice, just to make sure that you got everything.
Speaking of getting everything, that’s not what you get from this DVD. From the moment I watched this movie until the day it arrived at my doorstep all that I wanted was a commentary. For a film like this it’s almost essential. Does Stay have a commentary? Well, in fact it has two. Sort of. The commentaries are scene specific. One is with director Marc Forster and actor Ryan Gosling, and the other is with Forster, second unit director Kevin Tod Haug, editor Matt Chesse, and director of photography Roberto Schaeffer. I just don’t get it. If all these people were assembled to record a partial commentary why not go the whole nine yards, or at the very least have one of the commentaries be feature length? Still, what is there is fairly juicy and worth a listen, but over-all the package feels sort of incomplete.
Other than that, we get a quick eight minute featurette about composing Stay‘s score, and a short but interesting featurette titled Departing Visions, which deals with real folks that have had near death experiences. Running seven minutes long this too left me again cold and alone in the craving for more department. In an attempt to please everyone, the disc is double sided with full-screen on Side A and widescreen on Side B. Personally, I hate this. Not because of the available option of watching the film how you would like to, but because of the fact that you have twice as many chances to have your DVD get messed up by scratches or fingerprints. If your anal like me you probably wont have to worry, but I really do enjoy that one side of protective art work. Nit-picking, I know.
All in all, Stay is worth a purchase if only for the film alone. Who knows, maybe this little seen gem will finally find its audience and the people at Fox will grant us a special edition. Hey, stranger things have happened. They did it for the completely useless AVP, why not a good film? I certainly wouldn’t mind double dipping for a more fleshed out package.
Two scene specific commentaries
Departing Visions featurette
The Music of Stay featurette
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