streaming horror starry eyes

Welcome to 31 Days of Streaming Horror. Every day this October we’ll be highlighting a different streaming horror movie to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Today’s entry: Starry Eyes (2014).

Starry Eyes
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Sub-Genre: A Star Is Born with less singing and more body horror

Best Setting to Watch It In: In Tinseltown, baby!

How Scary Is It?: I dunno about scary, but it’s pretty darn nasty, that’s for sure – get ready to cringe and moan at a lot of gross, violent stuff

Hollywood! Where dreams come true thanks to movie magic! And everyone wants to be a star! Of course, when everyone wants to be a star, that means there’s not a lot of room to go around. It’s tough out there in the world of showbiz, and day after day, actors struggle to make it. Like Sarah Walker (Alexandra Essoe), a self-loathing wannabe actress who keeps going on failed auditions only to punish herself by tearing chunks of her own hair out when she thinks she performed poorly.

Oddly enough, Sarah’s hair-pulling ends up catching the eye of a casting director who keeps asking the budding starlet to come back for auditions. These auditions eventually lead to a meeting with a big-time producer who is more than happy to give Sarah a leading role in his new picture – if she’s willing to sleep with him. Mortified, Sarah flees, but when she takes one look at her boring, drab, fame-less life, surrounded by people she barely considers friends, she starts to have second thoughts. She starts to think that maybe she should give in to the producer’s demands if it means she can finally get her big break.

But Sarah’s big break isn’t going to turn out to be what she was expecting. Because soon she finds herself changing, both mentally and physically. Her hair starts to fall out. And she has a nasty habit of puking up maggots. Just what is going on here? What is happening to Sarah? And is the price of fame really worth all of this body horror?

Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (who helmed the recent Pet Sematary) perfectly blend horror with a quirky awkwardness here. There’s a darkly comedic undertone in the early section of the film, but that soon gives way to full-blown terror drowning in extremely graphic violence. It’s the very definition of horror. Essoe anchors all of this beautifully, turning in a stunning performance – one that challenges her to put herself through hell. It’s a very physical role, and we can practically feel the pain Essoe’s Sarah is going through as things grow worse and worse. But don’t worry – there’s a happy ending.

Sort of.

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