November 14, 2014
Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer
Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer
Alex Essoe as Sarah
Amanda Fuller as Tracy
Noah Segan as Danny
Fabianne Therese as Erin
Starry Eyes arrived out of the blue… or black. One day no one had heard of the film, the next our inboxes were inundated with press releases. So why the major push from Dark Sky? Because Starry Eyes is a horrifying expedition into the darker recesses of both the mind and the Hollywood lifestyle.
Starry Eyes arrived out of the blue… or black. One day no one had heard of the film, the next our inboxes were inundated with press releases. So why the major push from Dark Sky? Because Starry Eyes is a horrifying expedition into the darker recesses of both the mind and the Hollywood lifestyle. It’s a powerful picture that drops all the eggs in the character basket and forces any aspiring thespian to question their true ambitions and what mortifying realities may wait. Dark and savage, depressing and grim, Starry Eyes is exactly the kind of horror film that serious horror buffs are going to cherish for many years to come. Yes, the call is being made: Starry Eyes is a classic in the making.
The story follows Sarah, a fast food employee who has big dreams of fronting major motion pictures. Without a credit on her ledger things look bleak for the determined young lady, but all of that changes after one extremely unorthodox reading. Her own frustration at failing to impress the casting agents is actually what leads to a call back, which only puts her in a position to push more boundaries. She’s forced to let her inhibitions fly to the wind and strip down for the cameras, and though initially leary, the act manages to instill a newfound confidence in her. And the agents see it. Another call back comes, and that’s where things get really ugly. A sexual proposition is made (hey, we do what we must to land these big roles, right?), and after initially rejecting the idea, Sarah comes around. But this sexual escapade doesn’t lead to the marquee casting she’d hoped for. Rather, it sends her into a physical and mental spiral. Something’s gone wrong with Sarah, and it isn’t long before she’s taking out her own anguish on those around her… violently. Really violently.
The story alone is initially familiar. The first act tells us we’ve seen films of this nature on a number of occasions (you may even draw loose comparisons to the highly controversial A Serbian Film), but that opinion shifts by the time the second act rolls around, and Starry Eyes takes on a life all its own. Now, having said that, I can’t help but compare the film and the aesthetic style of the film, to Eric England’s excellent picture, Contracted. The cinematography is similar, the color schemes and tones of the film as a whole are similar, hell even the pacing is similar. But where England chose to let the mind create the bulk of the terror, Starry Eyes‘ directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer allow for primal rage and brutal acts of violent to take over in the terror department. By the time the third act is flying by we’re seeing some wild ultra-violence, a lot of which is surprisingly graphic and completely satisfying to any hardcore gore fan. But that’s not to say that these gents lean on those horrific sequences exclusively, because they don’t. They simply allow a physically explosive climax to close the show.