20 December 2014 | ArchonCinemaReviews
Be careful what you wish for in LA - "I'd do anything to make it"
Indie horror can be hit or miss, oftentimes a miss, but Starry Eyes is a surprisingly well acted story that sways toward the "hit" side.
Los Angeles, California – the land where bright eyed beautiful people go to try their hand at stardom. Some are lucky if they get a national commercial or a guest spot on a television series, most resigned to locally produced indie flicks that will only be seen by their inner circle.
Starry Eyes takes the brutally competitive and unmerciful Hollywood atmosphere and couples it with the darkest desire, the blind ambition to seize success. Alex Essoe is Sarah, an aspiring actress engaged in the LA grind: waiting tables, submitting head shots and going on casting calls. After one particularly odd audition, she earns the opportunity for a lead role in a gateway movie. Hopeful for her big break, Sarah grapples with making a deal to enter into the dark and occult world of the elite.
Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer split the dual role of screenwriter/director in Starry Eyes but produce a cohesive vision in their film. It is immediately apparent that Kolsch and Widmyer have been around the Los Angeles block more than enough times. They perfectly capture the pompous, self-serving atmosphere rife with deceptively two-faced phonies who talk more than they 'do'.
Starry Eyes is a surprisingly successful and effective film and horror. The mood is stark and matter-of-factedly vicious. As with any horror, it lulls in the middle as the characters evolve and develop so that they may transform feasibly to the climax. Also the cause for and transformation Sarah goes through is rather standard and obvious.
Alex Essoe's acting and portrayal of Sarah elevates Starry Eyes even further. Essoe subtly transforms from the hopeful ingenue to the ambitiously consumed actress hell bent for greatness. Weirdly poignant and meta, I hope Alex Essoe's performance in this role garners some attention from producers in the right place, for she has talent.
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