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Movie Review: Starry Eyes (Unrated)

January 1, 2015

Starry-Eyes-Poster

“Sarah (Alex Essoe) is a beautiful actress that wants to make it in the acting world. She’s willing to do whatever it takes, even at the detriment of her own personal being. When she’s scouted for the film The Silver Scream, Sarah has to decide exactly how much she’s willing to go through for fame.”

This movie did not have a rating from the MPAA. My partner, mother, and I sat down the other day to watch it when I rented it from Amazon.

I thought–up until the last 20 minutes–that this was actually a pretty good horror movie. Not overly gory, and the acting wasn’t painful. I didn’t fully connect with the characters enough to be rooting for any one of them survive the movie, but they didn’t make me cringe. The movie’s storyline between the friends and the main character are superficial at best, but I’m used to that in horror movies.

Sarah’s need to be famous is intense. She copes with her anxiety by pulling her hair out and screaming. When she thinks she loses out on her audition, she has one of her fits while one of the casting directors is in the bathroom. That is enough to intrigue them and ask her back. When she tells her friends, The Roommate is happy for her, The Bitch is catty, and the other nondescript friends are more or less supportive.

After her strange call back (which was a strobe light, brief images, and orgasmic sounds), she is called to meet the producer. This is an uncomfortable scene where the producer basically sets it up as she can either sleep with him for the part or go. She chooses to go. That is until events occur with her friends (along with a hit of acid) make her change her mind. She goes back, blows the producer, and is told that fame requires sacrifice.

From here on, things go down hill for Sarah. Her body begins to fall apart. Grossly. It’s very well done, though, and I found Alex Essoe’s acting done brilliantly. I believed she was terrified and in pain. But once the producer makes contact with her a final time, telling her what must be done to be ‘reborn’ a star, the movie fell apart for me.

SPOILERS BELOW
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I’ll be honest. I thought the whole thing was in Sarah’s head. I thought she had lost out on the audition and gone crazy. I expected her to snap out of it after killing everyone and realize she’d been on one hell of a bad acid trip while be psychotic. That, to me, would have been an awesome ending, one I wound have felt was right and true to the character.

Instead, we get a quick body count in the space of 15 minutes, a main character with no humanity or remorse in her, and who looks like a freaking demon. How can she be a ‘star’ when she looks like that! No. The whole cult thing was poorly done and badly supported, and the quick wrap of all the plot ends in the last 20 minutes made the 70 minute build up of fear, terror, and atmosphere pointless.

It was a good movie in premise, and the execution was great… until those last few minutes. Had everything been in Sarah’s head, I would have given the move a 5-star rating. But the shoddy, lazy ending the threw in there with the poor backstory/support for this cult that initiated Sarah through a coerced blowjob was just too much and had me rolling my eyes.

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