Starry Eyes is definitely one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2014. Its cool, indie vibe and moments of extreme and shocking brutality have horror fans on their feet and the result is one of high praise. Filmmakers Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer are relatively new to the horror scene, but have put themselves front and center with this splash of a film.
Kolsch and Widmyer do a fantastic job with casting. It’s as if they went into my brain and picked out some of my favorite actors from some of the lesser known horror films. I couldn’t be happier with these picks. We have Noah Segan, who plays the nice guy in the friend-zone. He is one of my top ‘horror actors’ from films like Deadgirl, All About Evil, Someone’s Knocking at the Door, and Cabin Fever 2. He plays dark characters down-right dirty. I’m obsessed with anything that he is in, knowing I’ll be in store for something weird. We also have Amanda Fuller playing Sarah’s best friend. Fuller looks a lot like Ellen Page and did a phenomenal job in Red White & Blue, one of the most ruthless and cruel films I have ever seen. Main character Sarah is played by Alexandra Essoe. This is the first time I have seen Essoe in anything, but she is someone to watch out for in the future.
Sarah Walker is desperate to become an actress. Like so many others in Hollywood, she is one among thousands who crave fame and stardom. We learn early on in the film that Sarah may have a few screws loose, which seems obvious in her strange breakdowns and self-inflicted punishment after failed auditions. This emotional side of Sarah strangely and surprisingly benefits her as an artist by being able to expose her inhibitions which ultimately secures a callback for an exciting roll. Sarah gets more than she bargained for in this callback though. Something happens in that room… something unnatural.
There are a lot of layers in this movie for being a horror film. The actors feel real and authentic, each playing the ‘artsy actor-type’ character with ease. Jealousy, rejection, morals, and primal ambition play a big role among these characters. I put Starry Eyes in a category with Red White & Blue and Proxy since all three deal with the theme of an underlying inner-darkness in people. Sarah has a chance to become everything she dreams of; she only has to sell her soul. What would you do to get what you want? How far would you go? This film exposes inner demons and the dark souls of humanity.
I like the emerging pattern I am seeing in recent horror movies. In a typical slasher film, the movie opens with a violent death, putting the audience in a thrilling state from the very beginning. We are now seeing a lot of these slow-burn, independent horror films. Instead of opening with a violent and shocking scene, the atmosphere and tension continually builds, so when these moments of violence do occur it is utterly shocking and way more vicious. And in Starry Eyes, once the violence begins it is a non-stop gore fest. You will never be the same after watching this. Is it vampirism, Satanism, the illuminati, cults? You will have to see for yourself. You may not leave the film with clear answers, but you will definitely leave with your jaw on the ground.
I also want to give a shout out to the very talented director, Dennis Widmyer (@), for tweeting my review!!
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