Horror Movie Review: Starry Eyes (2014)

A cold and dark horror, Starry Eyes will leave you feeling despondent but satisfied. A great horror movie that mixes the occult with every young actors dream of becoming a star in Hollywood.

Sarah (Alex Essoe) is one such young hopeful who is desperate to become a famous movie star. Unfortunately, it just isn’t happening for her so she’s stuck waitressing at a fast-food restaurant and living with selfish and unsupportive friends.

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No matter what Sarah does she inevitably seems to fail at gaining a significant role. Not helped that one of her friends Erin (Fabianne Therese) steals her parts.

To be honest, calling them friends is stretching it with only roommate Tracy (Amanda Fuller) and Danny (Noah Segan) seeming to care about her well-being. The latter is himself an aspiring film director and wants Sarah to be his film.

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It’s just not happening for Sarah, that is until she goes for an audition for a film called The Silver Scream. It’s the lead role and the auditions are being held by a powerful production company called Astraeus Pictures.

Sadly, the audition goes poorly and Sarah is sent away causing her to lose control in the bathroom, ripping some of her hair out. This is overheard by the casting director (Maria Olsen) who demands she show them that again. Confused but wanting the part so much, she rips more of her hair out for them.

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Seemingly having shown the passion and desire they wanted she gets a call-back but this time the demand is that she strip naked and open herself up to the potential to transform. Once again, she goes along with it but notices the casting director wearing a pentagram necklace.

Sarah now believes she is in line for the role especially when she is invited to the producer’s house. What she doesn’t know is that their demands have only just started and her transformation into leading lady is going to involve a lot of suffering.

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Starry Eyes is a very good movie, one that takes the reality of Hollywood and blends it into a bloody and disgusting paste. The story told is grimy and horrid but fascinating as the treatment of these aspiring actors is based in truth. Sure, the occult and satanic part is stretching it but it’s not completely out of the realms of possibility!

None of that would matter though if it wasn’t for Alexandra Essoe’s excellent portrayal of the tortured Sarah. Sympathetic at first until her eventual transformation, she is wonderful to watch even if it’s often through fingers as you cover your face.

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She is backed up by a solid cast too. A mix of starry-eyed hopefuls, cynical doom and gloomers and those who have Sarah’s best interests at heart. So many scenes are filled with tension that it can be down-right uncomfortable watching at times.

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Starry Eyes drips menace and sinister atmosphere, one that will stay with you long afterwards. The finale is a tad gratuitous but still highly enjoyable and it’s hard not to get that sense of satisfaction for Sarah. Even if what it took to get there is pretty horrific. The finale is not light on gore and the effects are top-notch. A shocking conclusion that pays off the journey.

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Starry Eyes
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