Every actor and actress dreams of making it big--like really big. But very few ever do. It's the nature of the business. Most actors face an uphill battle of auditions that lead to no or little work. It can be a nightmare. Well, Starry Eyes takes those nightmare scenarios and makes you want to rethink taking that method acting class.
Starry Eyes is Rosemary's Baby for actors. It starts off as Sarah, a struggling young actress in LA, works to make ends-meat at a cheesy theme restaurant and living with a roommate whose friends are pretentious hipsters who constantly look down on her ambitions. After getting an audition for a known production company, she makes a sinister deal for fame and fortune.
If you've ever been through a nerve-wracking audition (and anyone in the arts most likely has), this film already plays into your fears. At face value, the film is a typical "sell your soul to the devil" story. However, it is Alex Essoe's performance that makes this film so frightening and tragic. Moreover, Essoe takes the performance a step further in the scene where her character vomits bugs. She volunteered to do this as a practical effect (i.e. putting the large mouthful of live bugs into her mouth) rather than have the effect be CGI.
The group of friends are also lovably hateful--if not tragic in their own right. They reflect Sarah's own insecurity as artists struggling in Los Angeles, but that insecurity surfaces like a playground bully.
While there are certainly some weak moments in the film, particularly Louis Dezseran's (the Producer) performance. Dezseran seemed to be "playing evil" rather than really believing what he was saying. This was even more obvious when paired next to Essoe who fully committed to her acting choices.
There are a lot of sub-par horror films out there these days. This little gem is not one of them, however. I highly recommend Starry Eyes and eagerly await the next project from directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer.
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