Starry Eyes is one of those movies that goes down the Jeff Dixon checklist for movies I dig. A few years back there was a movie I looooved called The House of the Devil that was a true stylistic throwback to the movies of the late 70’s/early 80’s. While this movie doesn’t try to emulate the look and feel as much as that film, the story here is very much on that same time period’s wavelength. While I don’t want to give away too many of the twists and turns, let’s just say that the “star” in the title has multiple meanings (no spoilers since many of the posters even give that fact away.) Starry Eyes is a vicious little independent film that does not waver in showing how brutal Hollywood actually is. The story follows the familiar tale of a girl who desperately wants to be a star in Hollywood, and will do (almost) anything in order to make it. But as the old Hollywood adage goes, “how far are you willing to go?” When I say this movie is vicious, I mean it. This movie is seriously vicious. It shows the insane lengths people will go to get what they want. It shows the dehumanizing factors of casting calls (and I really do mean dehumanizing.) It shows the competition involved, and how being “friends” in Hollywood really just means “jealousy targets.” It shows how Hollywood can turn a good human being into a monster. It pulls you down into the gutters along with the souls of so many other wannabe stars and starlets out here. That, to me, is what sets this movie apart. It’s more about the real horrors of Hollywood. It’s not perfect by any means. There are some lags in the 2nd act, and some plot holes here and there. But I didn’t care. This movie is about mood. And I LOVED the mood. The over-the-top disturbing and disgusting Hollywood elite producer is so icky you practically feel him yourself. And there are a few moments of such shocking gore, that this was one of those movies with a very much advertised “someone passed out in the theater” campaign (actually I heard someone threw up at the Screamfest screening, but that could be rumor.) In the end, this movie is all about the main actress, played by Alexandra Essoe. She is amazing. She is so unique, and you really do feel for her character. Her arc may be a bit clichéd in parts, but it all just works perfectly. Starry Eyes is a cheaply made independent film done right. It’s down and dirty. It’s brutal as hell. And it’s a refreshing entry into the horror genre of late. Give it a shot. If you’re like me, you’ll dig it immensely.