How far would you go for fame? Would you debase yourself? Would you alienate yourself?
Would you lose yourself?
Sarah wants to become a famous actress, but between her dead-end job, her unsupportive friends, and the lack of apparent prospects, fame seems to be little more than a pipe dream. Things start to look up, though, when she auditions for the film The Silver Scream by Astraeus Pictures, a powerful company which seems to cater to the Hollywood elite.
That audition sends Sarah down a rabbit hole of madness as she is urged to open herself to the potential to "transform", and ultimately she is forced to decide how far she is willing to go to earn her big break.
Starry Eyes (2014) is an American supernatural horror film written and directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. It stars Alexandra Essoe, Amanda Fuller, and Noah Segan, and is noteworthy for having been partially funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
This film contains examples of:
- The Beautiful Elite: Astraeus Pictures seems to produce these.
- Body Horror: After Sarah accepts the producer's deal via performing oral sex on him, her body starts to deteriorate, including the loss of her hair and fingernails and vomiting maggots. It is implied that this is because she is resisting the "transformation".
- Came Back Wrong: Sarah is resurrected in a ritual that leaves her healthy, but hairless and able to devour souls.
- Casting Couch: Invoked in stages. While Sarah's first audition doesn't include sexual favors, her second requires her to disrobe in front of the casting directors, and the third comes with an expectation that she have sex with the producer.
- Deal with the Devil: What Sarah's deal with Astraeus Pictures amounts to, in the form of a Casting Couch with the producer.
- Disproportionate Retribution: After Sarah decides to embrace her transformation, she brutally murders her (admittedly fake) friends.
- Evil Is Hammy: While he never raises his voice, the producer delights in devouring every bit of scenery in his office the second he lays his eyes on Sarah. This serves to make him a lot creepier and more Obviously Evil.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Sarah works at a restaurant called Big Taters that is pretty much a Hooters Expy.
- Horrible Hollywood: Taken to an outright demonic level.
- Obviously Evil: Astraeus Pictures. Their official symbol looks more at home in an occult ritual than it does for a movie studio, their tones range from condescending to creepy, and they do everything in their power to make Sarah uncomfortable. The producer takes it Up to Eleven: he's a hammy, Faux Affably Evil old man dressed in black, rants about how Hollywood is filled with "rats", and coerces women into having sex with him in order to get the roles they want.
- Pet the Dog: Erin may have spent the majority of the movie being a terrible friend to Sarah, but she does display genuine concern when she turns on the light and sees Sarah's deteriorated face.
- Religion of Evil: Astraeus Pictures turns out to be a cult of people who worship a god named Astraeus, who offers success and beauty, apparently in exchange for human sacrifices.
- Villain Has a Point: There's no denying that the producer is an evil, greedy, pretentious asshole, but his Breaking Lecture to Sarah does raise a few valid points.Producer: You can go into the ground to be forgotten forever or you can be reborn. Did you expect it to be painless, that it would be easy, that you'd simply wake up one morning with everything you ever wanted laid out before you? I told you Sarah, dreams require sacrifice. And so do we. I can give you what you want Sarah, but you need to embrace who you really are. It's time to become one of us. It's time to be remembered.
- With Friends Like These...: This goes both ways. Sarah's friends are generally selfish, uncaring of her dreams, and try to undermine her at every turn, but at the same time, Sarah purposely distances herself from them.