Return of 31 Days of Our Favorite Horror: Starry Eyes

StarryShaw

Starry Eyes (2014)  Dir. Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer

This movie was such a pleasant surprise. I had not only seen recommendations on Reddit, but also had personal recommendations as well.  I will quickly sum up this movie as a tale of losing one’s soul and basically making a Faustian deal for fame and fortune. And I loved damn near every minute of it.

The movie begins with an aspiring actress named Sarah who is also an aspiring actress, looking for her big break, just like thousands of others living in Los Angeles. She works at a Hooters-eque restaurant, clad in spandex and low cut tops, and living a life that could be considered both perfect and miserable at the same time. She has some great friends, particularly her roommate, all of whom encourage her, but she also has a rival within the group who antagonizes her with passive aggressive comments. She also has a friend/admirer who is an aspiring director who wants to put Sarah into his new project. Sarah isn’t really interested at first, but after she bombs an audition, she reconsiders. She then goes for an audition with a major production company called Astraeus Pictures, an older studio whose output has been minor in recent years, but they have a stellar legacy of quality stars and films.

Sarah is excited for the audition, and although she sees a previous audition candidate run from the casting room in tears, she continues with the audition and bombs it. She proceeds to throw a tantrum in the bathroom, berating herself and pulling her hair out. But it just so happens that one of the casting directors witnesses the tantrum and informs Sarah that she has another shot if she wants it. It is in the do-over where she is told to disrobe and is subjected to a “transformative” experience as she is told to be liberated of her inhibitions. She then gets a second audition, and off of that, she quits her job as a waitress and during the second audition she is propositioned by a powerful producer, but she rebuffs him and runs off, scared and humiliated.

This is where shit gets weird. Sarah then begins to behave erratically and more aggressive with those around her, and she begs for her job back. But after someone close to her finds out about her experience with the producer, she freaks out and begs the producer for another opportunity. The third time is the charm and she pretty much sells her soul with an impromptu meeting that is more like a ritual, masked and cloaked shadowy figures and all. From there it is all down hill for Sarah. She begins a transformation that sees her body begin to die slowly and painfully. She turns even more aggressive with her friends and pretty much tells them all to fuck off.

I don’t want to give away every detail about the ending, but let’s just say that things end in a bloodbath. And I wonder if the makers of the movie have been watching YouTube videos of people who claim that Hollywood is full of Satanists who sell their souls for fame. I’ve seen those videos, are entertained by them for their entertainment value, and I love that it seems that they’ve plumbed those videos for inspiration. Regardless, the filmmakers have created a fun Faustian tale of fortune, fame, and murder. And, oh my God, the score. The. Score. So 80’s and pulsing with life, with a synthesizer, like John Carpenter would do for his movies. There are so many little details about this movie that make it fun and trippy, and ultimately satisfying for me. I mean, it’s not perfect, but I really had a good time watching it. It’s still on Netflix as of right now, so check it out if you want to have some Faustian fun (sorry, I couldn’t help it).

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