Ambition, the Blackest of Human Desires (Starry Eyes, 2015)
Starry Eyes is the story of Sarah (Alex Essoe), an aspiring actress. One day she answers a casting call for a film. What follows is a bizarre tale of the lengths people will go to succeed.
As she is called back for repeatedly stranger auditions, she starts to unravel ever so slightly. But when she is asked to meet the Producer (Louis Dezseran) her life is forever changed. Telling her to kill her old life, one questions if this is metaphor or a true command.
Starry Eyes is dark exploration of human ambition. Has Sarah truly sold her soul? Are her actions real? Are the dreams her own, or communication from a darker source?
Visually, it is both stunning and horrifying. The make up showing Sarah’s degeneration is simple, but frightful. Her transformation has the appearances of disease. The film is very gruesome once Sarah’s ambitions kick in. Those who are a bit squeamish should be prepared.
Alex Essoe’s performance as Sarah stands out. Both in emotional performance and physicality, she does extremely well. It is a performance that effectively moves from sympathetic to creepy.
The co-directors (and writers) Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmeyer have crafted an effective and dark psychological tale, but not for the faint of heart. But if you like your films dark and bleak, this is definitely in your corner.