Blu-ray Review: STARRY EYES

MPI puts out a deserving edition of the killer horror film.

Bottom line up top: Starry Eyes makes for a great home video purchase, and you should take the jump at the link below.

I loved Starry Eyes the first time I saw it - you can read my review here - and watching it a second time, I was struck even further by what a smart, dark, layered film this really is, and how impressively it builds to that amazing climax. The Blu-ray looks terrific, offering a clarity and depth that I sadly missed the first time, watching it as a screener on my laptop. And it sounds great, especially the completely rad synth score from Room 237's Jonathan Snipes. We hear on the commentary that directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer intended a more traditional orchestral score for the film, but producer Travis Stevens recommended they meet with Snipes, who just immediately got it. I think Snipes' score is an enormous part of what makes Starry Eyes so special, and it sounds phenomenal on the Blu. 

The special features are great, though I wish there were more. The commentary with Kolsch, Widmyer and Stevens is funny and insightful, pointing out several little Satanic easter eggs that you may have missed throughout the film, and giving great anecdotes from the shoot. Starry Eyes started out as a Kickstarter film and became something much bigger, and it's an interesting journey. These guys tell the story well, and give plenty of deserved kudos to their cast, especially to Alex Essoe, who really sat in a bathtub full of maggots and pulled a tiny worm out of her mouth on a filming day that took a lot longer than anyone probably hoped it would.

The Blu offers ten deleted scenes, any of which could have made it into the movie and felt like a worthy inclusion, though I like the length and pace of Starry Eyes quite a bit, and agree with the directors' decision to cut some of these in service of time. And some of the scenes seem to reveal the darkness inside of Sarah sooner than we see in the finished film; delaying that revelation was the right choice.

We also get a Jonathan Snipes making-of music video, revealing a little of the process behind that magic, as well as a trailer and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery from the shoot. But, aside from the commentary, the strongest inclusion of the special features is Alex Essoe's two-part audition tape. After seeing Sarah audition twice for her gateway part, it's an eerie sort of meta seeing Essoe do the same, albeit under far less terrorizing circumstances.

And finally, the Starry Eyes Blu comes with some groovy double-sided cover art: 

 

Buying the STARRY EYES Blu-Ray/DVD tomorrow? It comes with a little surprise inside. #starryeyes

A video posted by Dennis Widmyer (@denniswidmyer) on

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