Starry Eyes (2014) Poster

(2014)

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3/10
If this is the face of modern horror, count me out
Leofwine_draca4 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
STARRY EYES is one of those 'mumblegore' films set in the soulless world of the modelling industry. Watching it, the only thing that interested me was how similar the story is in tone to the later NEON DEMON, although this one's more graphic and distasteful. The main character is a waitress who aspires to become a model, so when she visits a new agency, you can guess the kind of thing that happens.

Truth be told, I'm no big fan of this genre and STARRY EYES reminds me why. This is drawn-out and cheap, with unpleasant characters throughout and a lead you can hardly get behind due to her self-destructive drive. The horror tries very hard to shock but although unpleasant I didn't find it disturbing, merely juvenile in approach. In fact, the whole experience was rather depressing for me. If this is the face of modern horror, I'd rather do without it.
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6/10
Disturbing with Potential to Be Great
claudio_carvalho23 May 2016
In Hollywood, the Big Taters'waitress Sarah Walker (Alex Essoe) is an ambitious aspiring actress that suffers from hair pulling disorder. Sarah does not respect her boss Carl (Pat Healy) or her job since she believes she will be a great actress and this job is temporary only to pay her bills. She shares an apartment with her roommate Tracy (Amanda Fuller) that frequently discloses her secrets to their selfish friends Erin (Fabianne Therese) that likes to humiliate Sarah and steal her roles; Danny (Noah Segan), who is an aspiring director that likes Sarah; Poe (Shane Coffey) and Ashley (Natalie Castillo) that are indifferent to her. When Sarah is invited to an audition of the film The Silver Scree from the company Astraeus Pictures, their auditioners do not show any reaction to her performance. When Sarah leaves the audition, she goes to the toilet room and has an attack, pulling her hair and crying. Immediately after, the casting director (Maria Olsen) invites her to return to the room and repeat what she did in the bathroom for her assistant (Marc Senter) and she. Sarah is invited again to an audition with the producer (Louis Dezseran) and when he insinuates to have sex with her, she refuses and goes home. However her ambition prevails and she returns to his house and has oral sex with him. He tells that she wants to be famous, she needs to die and reborn. When Sarah returns home, she finds that her body is deteriorating and she needs to murder her friends to complete her transformation. What will she do?

"Starry Eyes" is a disturbing horror film with potential to be great. The story is a sort of gore version of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", where the body of the lead actress deteriorates instead of her body, with "Faust". Alex Essoe has a top-notch performance and the gore scenes are impressive. The plot has flaws, without any explanation about the cult or how the deaths could be explained to the police, families and landlords, maybe because of the low-budget. The conclusion does not show Sarah famous but she probably might be. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available on Blu-Ray or DVD.
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9/10
Performing
kosmasp22 November 2014
The central performance is just plain amazing! The way our main protagonist throws herself into this thing is really something. And making that character appealing to a certain extent is an achievement in itself. The way the character "acts" is just mind blowing. The thing is, that she is not really likable, not to mention her decisions being bad for more than one reason.

But the movie still is able to hook you and not lose you with characters doing what is obviously the wrong thing. Because the character is established and shown in a light, that we get why she does what she does. It's eerie and scary and weird in all the right places. For a small budget movie that is quite a big feat!
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6/10
So Much Potential...
gavin694210 August 2015
A hopeful young starlet (Alex Essoe) uncovers the ominous origins of the Hollywood elite and enters into a deadly agreement in exchange for fame and fortune.

I hate to give this film a lower rating, but I have. Despite the creators effectively blending Lynch and Cronenberg... despite Alex Essoe's award-worthy performance... and despite the appearance of Pat Healy, who seems to be criminally underrated.

Why the lower rating? Because after more than an hour of incredible acting and cinematography and plot, it falls apart. It goes from being odd but sensible to just being far too supernatural and clumsy. Sometimes the unexplained works better than the explained (see "It Follows"), but here a few answers were probably necessary.
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9/10
Superior indie horror winner
Woodyanders17 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Aspiring actress Sarah Walker (an appealing and outstanding performance by the fetching Alex Essoe) desperately wants a coveted lead role in a film that could launch her career. Sarah makes a pact with a sinister secret cult in order to better her chances of getting ahead. Naturally, said pact comes at the heavy price of Sarah's very soul.

Writers/directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer firmly ground the fantastic premise in a plausible everyday reality (Sarah works at a degrading Hooters-type restaurant while waiting for her big break), do an ace job of crafting a creepy mysterious atmosphere, and astutely peg the fiercely competitive cutthroat nature of show business. Better still, this film not only makes a potent and provocative central message about how far one is willing to go in order to achieve a lifelong goal and make one's deepest most desired dream a glorious reality, but also has the strength of its own grim convictions that stays harshly true to itself to the literal bitter end. The jolting moments of brutal'n'bloody violence pack a savage wallop. While Essoe clearly dominates the picture with her sterling acting, she nonetheless receives excellent support from Amanda Fuller as sweet and loyal gal pal Tracy, Noah Segan as amiable struggling filmmaker Danny, Pat Healy as jerky restaurant manager Carl, Fabianne Therese as the snooty Erin, Maria Olsen as a creepy casting director, Louis Dezseran as a suavely slimy producer, and Natalie Castillo as bitchy rival Ashley. Adam Bricker's sumptuous cinematography offers a wealth of startling nightmarish visuals. The shivery pulsating John Carpenteresque score by Jonathan Snipes hits the spine-tingling spot. An absolute knockout.
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7/10
Rough but good
BandSAboutMovies30 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Sarah Walker (Alexandra Essoe, who played Wendy Torrance in Dr. Sleep) is an aspiring actress who just can't seem to break through. Perhaps Satan can help. That's the central story in this 2014 film that I've always believed is way more true than fiction.

It's directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, who went on to create the remade Pet Sematary.

Sarah works at Big Taters in between auditions and dealing with her unsupportive friends, like Erin (Fabianne Therese, John Dies At the End) who steals roles from her, her roommate Tracy and director Danny (Noah Segan, who has worked with Rian Johnson on many projects).

After another failed try-out for Astraeus Pictures' new movie The Silver Scream, Sarah goes to the bathroom and begins tearing her hair out, which actually inspires the casting director. The follow-up, where she is encouraged to strip and transform herself in front of a strobe light, was inspired by a story someone told Widmyer and Kölsch auditioning for David Lynch. She goes into a trance state and experiences extreme euphoria, but refuses to sleep with the producer at the third audition.

At a pool party celebrating Danny's next movie - Sarah was promised the lead - our protagonist is surprised to see him kissing Erin, who is going after her part again. She returns to the producer's house and goes down on him, which begins to change into something new. That change into something new involves throwing up maggots and having her nails and hair fall out, but beauty is never pretty.

Sarah is told she must either embrace the new her or die. She accepts it, kills all of her friends and is reborn a star.

This movie is pretty great, made in a world where modern horror feels soulless. It has a 70's feel without devoting itself to that decade or coming off as a period film.
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9/10
The Casting Ouch…Gripping Horror from a Hellfire Film Crew
LeonLouisRicci9 June 2015
You Can't get more Independent than Group Backing via Kick-Starter, and that's where this one Began. It Morphed into a Higher Low-Budget and the Result is a Gripping, Well Acted, Stylish, and Creepy Horror Film.

With its Foundation in the Psychological/Occult Coven of Selling Your Soul for Success, the Film's Thesis is Affirmed right Before Your Eyes. Alex Essoe gives a Gut-Wrenching Performance as She Gives it Her All in an Uncanny Acting Turn that might Not Be Acting at all,. It's that Good and makes one Queasy about How She got the Role. Just Kidding.

The Entire Production Team is on the same Demented Wavelength and the Film Seems Possessed. There is just 0one Disturbing Scene after another as the Story Unfolds at a Slow Unsettling Pace.

The Third Act Erupts into a Demonic Reincarnation with Blood Sacrifices Galore Full of Gore. But it cannot Erase the Literal Hell that came before in the Form of a Less Graphic Exploration. From the Beginning the Movie Sets Up a World of Cutthroat "Friends" and Unfriendly Soul Eaters. The Manager of "Taters" is as Soul Less as the Movie Producer from the Dark Side.

Overall, this is a Winner of a B-Movie with Talent Running Amok on the Set. It is a Group Effort and Dedication that Makes This Sleeper Destined for Cult Status.
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7/10
Think ALL ABOUT EVE via ROSEMARY'S BABY if you will and look more for Essoe as a star on the rise worth checking out in future endeavors.
george.schmidt2 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
STARRY EYES (2014) **1/2 Alex Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan, Fabianne Therese, Shane Coffey, Natlie Castillo, Pat Healy, Nick Simmons, Maria Olsen, Marc Senter, Louis Dezseran. Affectively chilling yet relatively predictable horror flick about a naive young actress in Hollywood (Essoe gives a tremendous performance out of a tricky role) whose blind ambition gets the best of her when she is offered a too-good-to-be-true role of a lifetime (and then some) with horrific end results. The somewhat scattershot screenplay (does it want to be a quasi-satire/metaphor about careers in show biz or a nifty demonic monster movie?) by filmmaking team Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer has a hit-and-miss factor namely the expendable (yawn-worthy) supporting cast of characters (the actors do the best they can in paper-thin cookie cutter archetypes: i.e. the ponderous filmmaker wanna-be; pretentious poetry slam hipster; the bitchy frienemy) yet arguably makes up for it in spades in the final act with some gruesomely awesome graphic violence (kudos to the make-up and visual effects of Hugo Villasenor and Matt Falletta, respectively) and a spooky score by Jonathan Snipes. Think ALL ABOUT EVE via ROSEMARY'S BABY if you will and look more for Essoe as a star on the rise worth checking out in future endeavors.
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7/10
slow building towwards a gory mess
trashgang22 May 2020
Much is said about Starry Eyes and now that I have seen it I do understand all the fuss about it. It's slow building, that is for sure. Once you are over an hour in this flick things go awry and the real horror comes in.

And the real horror is gory, messy and if you aren't into those flicks it will be offensive for some. The sory itself is all about a girl not really accepted by her so-called friends. And she's out to find an acting career. Failing she is willing to give her body litterly to a new job been offered. Giving a blow job to the producer is were things really goes wrong.

So the last half hour it's all about blood, vomiting, stabbing and smashing. Again, not for the easily offended. Once the flick is over you will ask yourself a few things about her. Nevertheless, acting of main role far above mediocre. After all, an ode to the heydays of horror, the score alone proves it

Gore 2/5 Nudity 1/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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"Did You Expect It To Be Painless?!"...
azathothpwiggins24 December 2019
Aspiring actress, Sarah Walker (Alexandra Essoe) auditions for a part in a horror film. Hoping not only to get her "big break", but also to escape her dismal life, including her job at a bottom-of-the-barrel restaurant, Sarah is quite desperate.

Her interactions with the movie's Producer (Louis Dezseran) and his Casting Director (Maria Olsen) grow increasingly bizarre and uncomfortable. Sarah has no idea what she must sacrifice in order for her dreams to come true. Resisting at first, her life begins to change into a nightmare world of physical and mental disintegration. Sarah finally realizes what she is being compelled to do, but can she do it?

STARRY EYES is an exceptional horror film, and a darkly satirical look at the cost of fame. Ms. Essoe is phenomenal, pretty much carrying the entire movie on the strength of her performance. If you're tired of the same old thing in horror films, then give this a shot...
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6/10
Nice idea
bowmanblue7 August 2015
'Starry Eyes' could almost be considered a 'satire' on today's 'celebrity-obsessed' culture. It could be… if it wasn't for the fact that it's blatantly marketed as a 'horror.' And it is pretty horrific. Even if much of the horror is derived from one young girl's desperation to make it to stardom in Hollywood and the lengths she'll go to.

Bored of waitressing in a seedy café (primarily frequented by men – if you know what I mean), xxxxx feels she gets the break she's been waiting for when a well-to-do producer offers to make her the star of an upcoming movie. Naturally, this is too good to be true and there's more than a few catches attached to such an enticing offer. And that's where the 'fun' really starts.

Without going into too much detail regarding the 'catches' there is a strong supernatural (and also horror) element to them. The film charts her downfall as she wrestles with the desperation to be famous and get the life she desires and the new downside she's facing from the deal that she's struck.

Like I said in my title, it's a 'nice idea' and it's well done for the most part. If you've ever watched anything by David Lynch or David Cronenberg you may spot a few parallels in style here and there as it deals with the dark side of Hollywood and fame. But it is a bit slow. I like to think that I appreciate dark, brooding movies (especially as I'm a huge fan of the afford-mentioned Davids). However, I did find myself wanting something to happen. Once you know what the film is about you can sort of see what's going to happen a mile off and write the rest yourself. That isn't to say that there aren't some nice touches (and even quite violent gore later on in the movie). There's even some quite black humour thrown in with the satire.

However, I can't help think that this would have worked better as some sort of 'half hour short.' It does tend to go on for long periods of time. Granted, these are designed to 'build tension' etc, but it just seemed like it was going on for too long.

'Starry Eyes' does work as what it is, but the way it's done just won't appeal to the masses. I enjoyed it as I like the overall satire effect, plus there was just about enough gore and black humour in it to make it watchable. However, I'm just not too sure I'd ever be bothered to watch it again. The nice touches just don't come quickly enough to maintain my enjoyment. It's a nice idea and there are more than a few nice touches. Pity it just couldn't have maintained those elements all the way through to avoid my mind wandering.
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Pretty unnerving
Red_Identity14 November 2014
I say sort of because the film has an unnerving and tense momentum, with some truly freaky and horrifying (good horrifying) images and scenes. It's kind of obvious where the film is going though, but it has some clever direction and again, disorienting in a good way in some of its pacing and tone. The lead actress is really good, very unnerving. The problem is that the film also has these weak spots here and there, and I wish the last 15 minutes had at least tries to do a bit more than what we regularly get from horror films like this. Still, it's actually quite a nice surprise in some of the things it does. This is actually recommended.
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Opposite the hypnotizing eye
chaos-rampant19 May 2015
Two instances worth keeping here, unless you're looking for blood spattering in which case you'll see it near the end. When we see the young aspiring actress - someone who yearns to transform, to shed self - coaxed to writhe on the casting room floor funneling real damaged self into immersion of its performance, and soon after finds herself entranced in a dark room, being lulled to bare herself by the seductive eye of the camera.

Both scenes - about nakedness of self, about damage of its fixation with that self - deserve a much better film than one where selling your soul in corrosive Hollywood is rendered with actual demonic powers at play that demand literally that, where the quest for transformative art is capped off with an actual rebirth from soil into elegant beauty that of course now lacks all humanity.

As I shift back into the horror context I realize I have seen way worse and we horror fans may have a small classic here. But now horror fans who have freely parsed this, is it time to shed that self who can settle for darkness only insofar as it is explained by story, horror made clear? Take that leap where horror is now woven from abstract fabric that cloaks and hypnotizes the whole of space?

Grandrieux awaits to be taken up, his works Sombre and La vie nouvelle.
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7/10
Audition
sol-7 October 2017
Intent on winning the lead role in an upcoming horror film, an aspiring actress gradually surrenders herself to the increasingly bizarre demands of the film's casting agents and producer in this odd little film with some remarkable parallels to Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon'. The film's best asset is the 80s style synthesizer music score, which provides ample eeriness at key points. The other big highlight is Alex Essoe as the waif-like protagonist who undergoes some massive progressions throughout as she truly transforms, just like one of the casting agents say that she has to early on. On that note, it is the early scenes here that work best, most notably, the cold and uncomfortable initial two auditions with some elongated silences. Die-hard horror fans though might prefer the latter stages of the film since they are the wildest and goriest. They also make the least amount of sense, however, with the film never really exploring the details of the pact she makes to get the leading role, nor the cult that she gets embroiled with, an occasional visible pentagram aside. And yet, the film still essentially works even with such plot details left murky and ill-explained. This might not be the subtlest of films about being ruthless in order to get ahead in life, but it is certainly one of the most atmospheric and offbeat, leaving several images that are hard to shake from the mind.
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5/10
A good effort to make horror.
filipemanuelneto14 December 2017
When I watched this indie horror movie I had very low expectations. I know indie cinema can be incredible or crap. So I've been watching prepared for the worst. However, this movie is neither excellent nor particularly innovative, looking like an inspiration over Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby". The film ends up being a huge satire around the highly brutal and competitive environment of the American film industry. The script is based on the ambition and lack of scruples of a young aspiring film star, who is willing to do anything to reach success, managing to get an invitation to audition in a large studio. The sarcastic criticism is present in the way her dreams are chewed and ruined, and in the way the film producer abuses her, forcing her to do things she doesn't want. She ends up selling her own soul... well, probably Hollywood should be a soulless environment also.

The cast is led by Alexandra Essoe, a young actress with some talent and who has done a fairly regular job here. Amanda Fuller was good enough also, with a good supporting work. Maria Olsen was well, sinister enough, but her task was only to add some gloomy atmosphere to the film. The rest of the cast did an average performance, doing what was necessary but without adding much more than that.

The film uses some scenes in which the actress appears half-naked, but I don't think this was bad, or a call to the "sex sells" formula. I think it went well the way it was used. It has some gore also, but it's not too heavy, helping to reinforce the tension.

Not being a brilliant movie, "Starry Eyes" delivers what it promises. It's a film that is within acceptable standards, can create a pleasant tension but doesn't frighten or make us feel afraid. In fact, I think I realized more of a certain criticism of Hollywood than a simple attempt to do horror. It's an average movie, worth watching but not allowing it a second time.
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4/10
I Couldn't Connect With It
damianphelps5 February 2021
I guess the premise of the story is ok if not original but something about it, the cast or the style or pacing, I don't know just didn't allow or invite me to want to spend time with this movie.

Half way through I paused the movie to watch some random youtube clips!

I'm sure others will like this more than me but I just couldn't get into it.
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5/10
average horror film
billcr123 January 2015
The saving grace for Starry Eyes is the performance by the lead actress, Alex Essoe as Sarah, a young waitress working at a Hooters type of restaurant, who aspires to be a Hollywood star. She lives with similar guys and girls who all seek fame and fortune. She reads for a part in a horror film and is told the standard, we will be in touch. Sarah is called and told that the producer would like to meet her. The guy is old and has bad intentions; the old casting couch variety. Further on Sarah makes some unwise choices and the last third turns bloody. Other than Essoe's believable turn as an ambitious wannabe star, I have no other reason to give Starry Eyes your time.
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6/10
Slow burn but horrific second half
Stevieboy66610 November 2017
Alexandra Essoe does a fine job of playing an aspiring actress in LA who thinks she has found her big break but once the creepy movie director places his hand on her knee it's just the start of a truly horrific nightmare. This is a slow burner but leads to an horrific climax, but one that did not make a great deal of sense to me. Maybe that was the intention, a make of it what you will movie. Well acted, good production values, some pretty extreme gore and it's certainly "different" but I feel that some of the other reviews on here are somewhat over generous.
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7/10
Beware ambition ...
parry_na18 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Alexandra Essoe plays Sarah, whose demure nature masks a desperation to become a successful actress. She is surrounded by snide wastrel friends, and there are moments when her ambition suggests she is probably just as contemptuous of them as they appear to be of her. After another unsuccessful audition, she is caught throwing a violent tantrum by one of the casting directors, and her outburst sparks interest. When she eventually meets the producer, things take on a mysterious and very sinister turn.

In the pivotal role of Sarah, Essoe excels at every opportunity. The viewer is lead to feel every beat of the humiliation she suffers, either at the hands of her friends, or in the job she abhors. Her transformation throughout the film is believably handled throughout, which is just as well because what happens to her is … bizarre. The gore effects are very impressive, especially for a low-budget picture, although she does appear to barely be able to move in one scene, only to become a rabid killer in the next.

There are questions. In fact, the whole thing ends with a massive question – none of Sarah's victims seem to be discovered, there is no evidence of any police investigation. In fact, the whole story takes place in a kind of elevated isolation where no outside influences are present. And of course, who are the people behind it all, and just what does Sarah become? 'Starry Eyes' results in being a highly enjoyable, gruesome picture where the journey is a lot more entertaining than the destination.
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9/10
Phenomenal modern horror, lovingly crafted by genre lovers
drownnnsoda9 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Starry Eyes" follows aspiring actress Sarah (Alex Essoe), a young woman in Los Angeles who desperately wants to become a famous actress. After countless auditions, Sarah finally grabs the attention of two very bizarre talent scouts from a moderately well-known movie studio who are making a horror film. Turns out that a good performance isn't all she'll need to bring though, as she finds herself wrapped up in the workings of an elite cult who has big plans for her.

I think the main reason that "Starry Eyes" has such an appeal is because the crux of the plot is quite straightforward: What would you do to achieve your dream? What is it worth to you? It's these questions that the film tackles, and the universality of the film's themes gives it an accessibility in spite of how utterly fantastical it becomes.

There is a lot of appeal as well to generation Y and millennials here, as the film meditates on the lostness of young adulthood and the struggle to "make something" of one's life in the twenty-first century. Sarah's trendy group of filmmakers, other aspiring actresses, and artists— her only conceivable "friends" to speak of— highlight this, and are positioned in contrast with her inflating aspirations leading into her eventual sacrifice. On one hand, it's easy to see Sarah's frustration over their pretentious artistic ennui, but by the end of the film you'd be hard-pressed not to sympathize with them on some level.

As I was watching the film, I was especially taken aback by how much it echoes the work of other genre filmmakers, visually and musically. There are tinges of "Rosemary's Baby," body horror ala David Cronenberg, and heavy Dario Argento influences— the architectural elements of the film studio and its eccentric employees are unabashedly reminiscent of "Suspiria," and Alex Essoe sure looks like Jessica Harper wandering down Sunset Boulevard in a remarkable nighttime montage. My point here is not critical, but rather that the film is very obviously made by people who know and appreciate the horror genre. Written and directed by team filmmakers Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, it is a film that is patently made by fans, for fans.

As things progress, the film goes less the route of Illumaniti-inspired media cult (something I expected it to elaborate more on), and rather goes along the lines of aforementioned Cronenberg territory before cutting loose into full-fledged splatter mode. The violence in the last act is truly horrific and realistically presented; enough to please gorehounds and to disconcert the squeamish.

Overall, "Starry Eyes" is a truly fantastic modern horror film, supported by talented actors and moulded as a true love letter to some of the genre's greatest contributors. Fans won't want to miss this. 9/10.
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5/10
It was an ok horror and an ok thriller. Nothing special.
joiningjt23 October 2020
Nothing special and just ok watched it till then end in Hope's if a decent to great ending and got a meh ending. It seems to be the hardest part of a movie and especially a horror movie. They just rarely get the ending right or its slapped together this moviexwas no exception just an average movie with an mediocre ending. Wont watch it again but it was ok.
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7/10
A Dark Hollywood Tale
Pairic10 May 2020
Starry Eyes: Many people get starry-eyed about Hollywood but end up working waiting in diners and cafés. Such is the fate of Sarah (Alexandra Essoe), her "friends" consist of Erin who is trying to steal her roles, a would be director who lives in a van and her apathetic room mate Tracy. After messing up an audition she freaks out in a restroom. Hearing this the interviewers call her back and seem impressed as she acts out her emotional responses for them. She is called to an interview with the film producer (Louis Dezeseran) where he acts like Harvey Weinstein but appears to be promising her greatness. At first she flees but returns when the reality of waitress life confronts her. The film people are really a cabal of Satanists though. An Occult thriller which seeps with blood and violence. Rituals are gone through but as always the "victim" bound for greatness chooses the pathway. This film works both as social commentary on the illusions, dreams and exploitation of so many aspiring actors and as an engaging Horror tale. Directed and written by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. 7/10. On the Horror Channel.
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4/10
Yuck
jfgibson732 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is about an actress who gets an audition for an important role. The problem is that the executive casting her wants her to do things in return for the job. She rejects the offer at first, but then goes back and agrees. After that, she slowly acts crazier and crazier as her hair falls out and her skin looks worse and worse. Then at the end, she is returned to form and becomes a star, I think. I didn't care much for the setup, so I wasn't really into it from the beginning. Then, as the girl started to change, it became really unappealing to watch. By the end, I didn't care at all. Not recommended.
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6/10
Strong lead performance
TdSmth520 May 2015
An aspiring actress is called for an audition for a horror movie. Things go unremarkably. She goes to the restroom and flips out, yanking her hair out. When she opens the stall door, the creepy casting lady is staring at her and asks her to repeat her episode. She's confused but agrees and completely loses it ending up on the floor screaming and pulling some more hair out during this second audition.

We meet her again with her lame hipster aspiring actors/director friends. She works at some goofy fast food place. When she gets a call to meet the producer of the horror movie she quits her job. Initially things go well at the meeting. The producer tells her that Hollywood is full of rats, but he sees something different in her. Then he puts his hand on her thigh and starts moving it up. She runs out. Now she has to beg her former boss to get her job back. But as she wastes her time with her good-for-nothing friends, she changes her mind and calls the production company. She wants to meet the producer again and is willing to do anything. At the meeting she performs a sex act and people in black masks and robes appear. If there's any confusion, we are shown the producer's hand which has a pentagram branded on its back, a symbol we've seen before as a pendant on the casting woman's neck.

Now she starts getting seriously sick and one night flips out and kills some of her friends. She ends up in some dark ceremony and then crawls out of the ground, bald and with green eyes.

Starry Eyes has one thing going for it and that is the strong performance by Alex Essoe. She's on screen most of the time and her role calls for all sorts of situations. Particularly interesting was her performance during the auditions. As a horror movie, it makes a you wait a long time for the horror. It's during the last 20 minutes that things finally get gory. The rest of the time, things are slow, more in the vein of a mild thriller, making the audience guess and wait where this is going.

At the same time the problem is that we don't go beyond witnessing this actress. There no serious villain to speak of. One of the people she hangs out with is a mean girl who competes with her for jobs. Then there's the producer but he's only around for a few minutes. We really needed another character to enrich the story. It's also not clear what this production company is really about. I guess you can interpret this movie as being about an innocent girl being initiated into the Hollywood inner circle, which requires blood. But I would have liked there to be more. We get hints with the masked and hooded guys, but that's not really worked out unfortunately.

Direction is confident and considering the writers/directors don't have all that much experience, Starry eyes is a success.
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2/10
Aspires to be more than it is......
s327616913 March 2016
Starry Eyes is a b grade flick that aspires, much like its lead character, to be more than it is and fails.

Simply put, Starry Eyes does not know what it wants to be and, instead, tries very hard to be any number of dispirit things. The result is a horror film on a bad acid trip, with psychedelic overtones, that simply clash with one another, in a head-ache inducing way.

Its cause is not helped by, at times, cheesy narrative, that tries far, far, too hard, to be clever.The acting, such as it is, is acceptable but not especially memorable either.

That's not to say there are not some creative and original ideas, on offer, in Starry Eyes. If only one of those creative concepts had been chosen and a cohesive, articulate story, constructed around it.

Regrettably, that was not to be. What you get, instead, can best be described as a muddled, cinematic mess. Two out of ten from me.
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