Starry Eyes is a horror drama film directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer. The plot follows Sarah (Alex Essoe), a young actress who is presented with her big break, but in order to get it she must cross a line. The line transcends morals and decency, and instead leads straight to evil. Is sell her soul worth a life of fame and fortune?
This film is brutal, it pulls no punches at all, it shows the deeply out of whack power dynamic of Hollywood and the casting process; showing the depths of human depravity. It touches close to home in our modern climate as Sarah is asked to strip naked for the role and later, she is asked to perform sexual favours for it. However, it does not stop there, though that is already horrific, the movie executive force Sarah to give up her humanity and be demonically reborn.
Taking the supernatural elements out for a second, this film is an incredibly frightening social commentary on the film industry, the message of the film is a pertinent and relevant one and one that bares further reflection.
Essoe is great in the lead role, we really buy her mental and physical breakdown over the course of the movie. The hairpulling scenes are especially tragic and really help to highlight the characters desperation, showing just how much of a victim she is in all of this. The character was easy to warm to and was easily empathetic throughout.
My one critique of the film is that in parts it is slow. It is only on for slightly over an hour and a half; however it feels much longer, proof of pacing problems. The first and third, third of the film is fine, it is just the second act that is slow.
Overall, a frightening film for a number of reasons and one that I believe should be watched as it has a very timely message for all of us.
The subtext/ social commentary.
The second act drags and is hard to watch.
Reviewed by Luke