Review: Starfish (SXSW 2019)

Title: Starfish
Rating: Not Rated
Director: A.T. White
Starring: Virginia Gardner, Christina Masterson, Eric Beecroft
Runtime: 1 hr 41 mins.

What It Is: With reality rapidly fraying at the edges, Aubrey (Virginia Gardner) finds herself following a string of clues left by her friend (Christina Masterson). Clues that will unlock the secrets of The Signal and could end up either saving the world… or condemning it.

What We Think: Slow, confusing and psychologically thrilling with moments of added suspense, this film is one with many layers to it. Many things worked in regards to the production. Given the intended genre, the cinematography, lighting, sound, and production design all worked well to help create the right mood and tone. The acting overall was decent, not necessarily Oscar worthy and in some scenes slightly dry, but definitely not the worst part. The special effects and monsters were also quite impressive. What made this film very confusing was the uncertainty of Aubrey’s main objective and the overall plot of the story. Two things were clear from the beginning; the character was grieving over her recently deceased friend and she was also battling other inner demons. The later was made obvious from her constantly being attacked by vicious supernatural monsters, which after a while only seemed to be a visual physical metaphor for the constant battle she was fighting internally. However, when watching this, it became unclear as to whether or not her main objective was to “save the world” from these supposed creatures or to confront the real demons she was internally struggling with. What would have made this film better is if the character’s main objective was clearly defined and stayed consistent throughout the story?

Our grade: B, This film had many successful parts and was intriguing to watch. However, this may be a film which audience members are either going to love or hate based on the uncertainties already mentioned.

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Melissa Leach Written by: