31 Days of Hell: Hollywood is the Devil: Starry Eyes (2014) - Reviewed

The upwards trend of modern horror continued with the release of Starry Eyes, a film that makes great use of classic genre themes and blends them today's gore infused slasher style. At times it doesn't work and feels much too forced, but somehow still succeeds in creating an original and verifiable bloody ninety minutes filled with stabbings, head bashings, satanic worship, grotesque vomiting, hair pulling, and a cinematic style that feels like a straight up tribute to Roman Polanski with a hint of Lynch and body morphing Cronenberg thrown in for good measure.

"I am so evil, I don't even haveto say a word. Just look
at my face."

Starry Eyes visits many continued genre tropes but modernizes them with a story about a young actress trying to make it in Hollywood. Her venture towards stardom leads her down a dark and twisted path that brings about a series of evil infused events that will feel hauntingly familiar but strangely fresh to any horror connoisseur. Their work here is a definite throwback to films like Rosemary's Baby, Mulholland Drive, and the creative duo's admitted influence, Possession. 

The creators of Starry Eyes obviously had a few minor issues deciding what direction to go with the movie. It shifts at a frenetic pace from an eerie dynamic to psychological mind rape to realistic slasher film back to satanic rituals, bloodletting, and demonic possession. Yet, these two directors pull it off with a non-typical, interesting and powerful lead actress paired with an enigmatic delivery that gives horror another distinctive shot in the arm. Not since Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer have kills felt this realistic, disgusting and intimate.

"Now, listen children.Meth is a terrible drug."

Starry Eyes is fueled by Alex Essoe in the lead role of Hollywood wannabe starlet, Sarah. Her unhinged performance is seamless as she undertakes the grueling task of remaining soft on the eyes while giving a physically demanding and totally unnerving portrayal of career motivation gone wrong. She plays Sarah with realism and perfection while once again proving that female actresses know how to carry the weight of nail grinding terror. Did I say how much I liked this movie yet?

This ranks high on the suggestion meter as its a definite must see for genre fans and admirers of great cinema alike. Starry Eyes is a moody piece of entertainment that helped speed along the return of a dying art form. Horror has struggled for the last half decade or so with uncreative remake after remake. But, 2014 saw a formative return to form with many awesome and horrifying entries. Starry Eyes is another notch in the belt as truly scary movies finally make their Hollywood comeback.

-Chris George