Hollywood is a captivating place. Becoming an actor there, or rather, becoming an actor in any country, is indeed challenging. In the auditions you attend, you embody a character on a piece of paper that you’ve never seen before, trying to impress a few expressionless individuals sitting across from you. They tell you that you can never become an actor, but you find a way to become a star. In cinema this treacherous path has been depicted many times in films. However, believe me, none have been as intriguing and insane as this. “Starry Eyes” is a critique of the steps one must take to become an actor and achieve fame in Hollywood. It chooses horror as its narrative language and does justice to it. It is one of the most captivating films you can watch in recent years.
Sarah is a girl consumed by dreams of fame. Despite constantly attending acting auditions, she fails to achieve what she desires. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot impress the indifferent men sitting behind the camera with the different characters she portrays. Just when she is about to give up on her career aspirations, a jury tells her that they want to introduce her to someone. The owner of a film company takes a special interest in Sarah. However, after her involvement with this company, her life begins to change completely. And this change is not a positive one.
The film aims to convey this: to become an actor in Hollywood, you must strip away your true self and become the person they want you to be, casting aside your inner demons. Sarah is willing to dedicate herself entirely to becoming an actor. However, as time goes on, the changes within her start to frighten even herself. Sarah gradually transforms into a sick individual and evolves into the demon the producer desires. The events that unfold, her experiences, are portrayed on screen with the flavor of a horror film.
Actually, we cannot fully classify the film as a horror movie. It is a successful thriller. The concept and execution of the film are brilliant. However, Alex Essoe, in the lead role, surpasses the film’s concept with her acting and stands out by saying, “I am here.” Alex Essoe, portraying a woman striving to become an actress, dazzles with her intriguing performance in the film. Interestingly, she actually does most of the things she does in the film. In the scene where Sarah is supposed to eat bugs, Alex actually puts bugs in her mouth and genuinely vomits. Similarly, all the crying scenes in the film are real; none of them are acting. Alex, while trying to prove her acting skills through her character in the film, actually proves her acting skills, making an ironic and surreal contribution.
During the film’s gala, which critics said would only happen if David Cronenberg and David Lynch made a film together, one of the audience members fainted, and the film had to be paused for the audience. The producers, who read the film’s screenplay directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, found the story “too demonic” and cut some parts. Frankly, I also liked the movie, which many critics found surreal. It is impossible not to appreciate and admire a film that presents a fresh perspective on how far one can go to become an actor.
In summary… Starry Eyes, tells the story of a woman who wants to become an actress and undergoes a transformation after meeting a demonic producer. Sarah gradually evolves into the monster that Hollywood desires. The directors, who skillfully captured the compelling story, received high praise from critics as well. Personally, I have no regrets about watching it, and I am pretty happy that it introduced a woman like Alex Essoe into my life. If you are looking for an intriguing thriller and want to watch a highly talented actress, I enthusiastically recommend “Starry Eyes” to you.
Cast & Crew
director: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer
writers: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer
starring: Alex Essoe
USA | 2014 | 98 MINUTES |