Directed by Mitchell Altieri [Other horror films: The Hamiltons (2006), April Fool’s Day (2008), The Violent Kind (2010), The Thompsons (2012), Raised by Wolves (2014), A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff (2016), The Night Watchmen (2017)] & Lee Cummings [Other horror films: N/A]
More than anything, I think that Star Light is a film with potential. The production looked quite professional throughout, and plenty of the performances left positive impressions on me. Problematically, though, the story here doesn’t gel with me, and because of that, despite how decent some aspects were, I can’t say this was a good film.
Filmed in Graves County, Kentucky, Star Light looks very nice for the lower-budget it was made on, and I think it’s a damn shame that the story can’t live up to the quality production surrounding it. Even the special effects, while not great, weren’t really that far off from what you might see in Hollywood films, so this isn’t some Michael Taylor Pritt film (which is also a bit of a shame, as his films generally have heart).
Much of the younger cast were decent, with only a few really stand-out performances. Playing the lead, Cameron Johnson didn’t do too shabby. Better was Liana Ramirez, and I wish that her character had been more of a focus than she was (and, on that note, I wish she had a better conclusion). Though his character didn’t amount to much, Garrett Westton had a suave aura about him I appreciated. Chandler Rachelle (in thus far her sole role) did good with a pretty terrible character, and Rahart Adams, while he had his moments, ended up somewhat forgettable.
Hagen Mills didn’t have a big role here, but I did appreciate his character if only because he was the only one that had a noticeable Kentucky accent, and seemed a good ole boy. Apparently Mills died prior to the release of this film at the tragically young age of 29 (I won’t get into the story, but apparently it was suicide after an attempted murder, based on what’s been reported). Regardless, like I said, Mills wasn’t a big focus here, but I did feel the need to mention him.
I don’t doubt that Bret Roberts is a good actor, and I’m sure he was given a very specific character-type to play, but boy, is his performance in this movie somewhat too much. He provides what little comedic elements this film has, and just feels a bit goofy at times. Perhaps of interest to some, Scout Taylor-Compton (of Wicked Little Things, Halloween, and Ghost House) takes a central role, though I can’t say I really get her character, and Tiffany Shepis (Dorm of the Dead and Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula) pops up a bit also.
Even toward the end, there are some things that I’m not understanding. I guess we sort of know the origin of Taylor-Compton’s character (though it’s never really explained well at all at any point, which was a bit annoying), but there’s unanswered questions (such as the nature of that old-woman-beast thingy that appeared-ish in two scenes) and to top that off, a really God-awful conclusion. I don’t know if the antagonists here were mutants, demons, or aliens, and that’s something I’d have liked, at some point, to be clarified, which never happened.
Star Light looked nice, and it really had a quality production, but the story really faltered past the first twenty minutes, which I thought was such a shame. If the story had been tightened up, this might have been a really solid film, but as it stands now, it was just a disappointment. A glossy disappointment, but a disappointment all the same.