Nearly every week seeks the release of a handful tiny, inconsequential horror movies straight to DVD.
Let’s take a chance on one of them, ‘Starry Eyes’.
Sarah (Alex Essoe) is a desperate young actress who is prone to throwing fits and pulling out her hair in times of extreme stress.
After an audition for a campy horror film, Sarah holes herself up in a nearby bathroom and proceeds to have an attack. This attracts the attention of one of the casting directors who wants to see more. She gets a second audition. The second time around, she continues to impress the casting directors and is told of the possibility of meeting the producer. This meeting turns out to be one of some inappropriate advances and Sarah runs out, having no intention of going to those lengths to achieve her dreams.
When surrounded by her self-absorbed and often undermining friends, Sarah begins to question her decision.
Will she go back and compromise her standards for fame? Is there more going on than what we initially think with these odd, pentagram-wearing filmmakers? What is up with the strange hallucinations?
Right off the bat, this is as transparent a cautionary tale as you can imagine. The story of a young actor/actress going to Hollywood with….stars in their eyes…is a cliché at this point. What is nice is that we get to know this group of friends who are all struggling to make it instead of just following one girl getting off of a bus coming into town, trying to make something happen. A big theme of the film is that to achieve your dreams, you have to be willing to sacrifice more than the next person which leads us to Sarah doing just that.
The plot takes far too long to kick into gear. It isn’t until about an hour and fifteen minutes when the stakes finally get raised and things start happening. In fact considering how dull this is early on, the violence and macabre direction that this goes in is pleasantly surprising. Calling this scary or even suspenseful would be overstating this, because it largely unfolds predictably. Many of the peripheral characters are annoying and self-involved.
On the bright side, for an extremely low budget affair, this doesn’t look bad. The slow pace is probably partially a result of this limitation, but some decent gore effects and transformative makeup in the climax bring this back into the realm of respectability.
Special features include: commentary, deleted scenes, an audition video, a photo gallery and trailer.
‘Starry Eyes’ is nothing more than a rental but for its modest scope, this is fairly successful.
Add an extra half star to this review.
Rated R 98 minutes 2015