Stay Online trailer: Screenlife thriller is set in the Ukraine war

The trailer for the Ukraine war thriller Stay Online, shot in the Screenlife style, promises a harrowing and heartbreaking viewing experience

Going by the strictest definitions, director Yeva Strielnikova’s film Stay Online may not be a horror movie, but it certainly looks harrowing and heartbreaking enough that it’s going to give people a viewing experience that’s just as intense as sitting through a horror movie, if not more so. The story is set during the Ukraine war that’s going on right now, and it doesn’t shy away from the horrors of war.

Written by Strielnikova and Anton Skrypets, Stay Online tells its story in the Screenlife style, which is what it’s called when everything we see is being shown on the screens of computers or phones being used by the characters. (For example, movies like Unfriended and Searching.) It’s set after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022 and begins when a young woman volunteering in Kyiv is given one of the thousands of laptops donated by ordinary Ukrainians to support the war effort. She’s asked to install a sensitive military application and deliver the laptop to her brother serving on the frontline. But the woman receives a mysterious video call from a young boy searching for his father, the laptop’s previous owner, who went missing during the Russian army’s brutal massacre of innocent civilians in Bucha. Reluctantly, she agrees to help find his missing parents — a decision that will ultimately force her to risk the lives of her own loved ones.

Liza Zaitseva stars.

The film is coming our way from AMO Pictures, Mamas Production, and OUP Fiction. Skrypets produced with Anatolii Dudinskyi, Maryna Kvasova, and Alla Lipovetska. Speaking with Variety, Skrypets said they chose to take the Screenlife approach “not only because of the impossibility of finding enough funds for the classic scripted feature film during the war, but also because this war is taking place on laptops, phones and all social networks. It is broadcast every minute. Screenlife is our new reality. And our only opportunity to find out if a person dear to you is alive, whether he died under rockets, whether his car was not shot. ‘Stay online,’ for me, it is not only a call to ‘get in touch,’ but also about how to stay alive.

Stay Online will be having its world premiere on July 22nd at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.

What did you think of the Stay Online trailer? Does this look like a movie you would want to watch? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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