“Dreams require sacrifice…and so do they.”
2014 has proven to be one of the worst years for horror in recent times. Both mainstream and indie fare have left me mostly unimpressed this time around. Horror has always been a struggle to a large degree, so much, in fact, that I recently decided to only post reviews for films worthy of your time; ‘Starry Eyes‘ is a must-see.
Alex Essoe gives a grand slam performance as the fragile and possibly neurotic, Sarah, a struggling, young actress that finds herself adrift in the Los Angeles film scene. Her life is that of many in Hollywood; a day job, harpie friends, and all the pressure that goes along with achieving a nearly impossible dream. We watch our protagonist audition for roles, and when things don’t go her way, some anxiety-producing behavior occurs. Essoe’s meek and cherubic presence goes a long way in drafting a protagonist that is not only likable, but eventually terrifying in one fell stroke.
Contemporary horror is lazy and predictable, characteristics I never saw in this film. Not only is the film served up best as a slow burn, but I kept guessing when the other shoe was going to drop. When things finally escalate, they do it in a truly cringe-worthy fashion. Drawing parallels with Roman Polanski’s pefect, ‘Rosemary’s Baby‘, and even Ti West faux-retro classic, ‘The House of the Devil‘, this film takes itself seriously, and never relents in its psycho-dramatic presentation. If you’ve bemoaned the lack of visceral horror tales as of late, well, enjoy the final act…if you can. I don’t think I’ve uttered the phrase “Oh, my God…” this many times all year. Holy cow.
Hollywood is as evil and self-serving as it gets, and this film makes the viewer earnestly ponder where the line between success and integrity truly falls. This gets an easy A- from me. You can catch this on Amazon and other VOD platforms right now.