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“Star Light” Offers Some B-Movie Fun

In the wrong hands, cliches are about the worst thing that can populate a film. Handled poorly, they just remind you all that can be wrong about cinema. However, cliches became that way for a reason, and are popular with some degree of cause. So, when filmmakers can lean in and utilize cliched material for their own means, sometimes you wind up with a fun result. Star Light is just such a beast, wandering down a well worn path but occasionally doing it in a way that we haven’t seen before, allowing it to stand out from the pack. Out now, it’s an option to consider for genre hounds.

The movie is a mix of horror and science fiction, with a bit of an original hook. Here, we have the story of a group of teenagers fighting off a strange entity and protecting a mysterious woman, but the catch is that the woman is Bebe A. Love (Scout Taylor-Compton), a massive pop star on the run from someone/something. Our protagonist Dylan (Cameron Johnson) loves Bebe, so is shocked when she literally runs into him fleeing her perusers one night as he returns home from a party. Unsure what to do, he brings her back to his friend’s house, where the group debates if it’s really her or not. The arrival at the house of the dangerous and deeply strange Anton (Bret Roberts), her “handler” of sorts, is only the start of trouble. Not only is Anton a force to be reckoned with, there’s something off about Bebe. As they debate whether to protect her or turn her over to Anton in order to save themselves, she and Cameron begin to connect. Mitchell Altieri and Lee Cummings direct a screenplay that Altieri co-wrote with Jamal M. Jennings and Adam Weis. Jonathan Hall handles the cinematography, while the music is by Kevin Kerrigan. Rounding out the cast are Rahart Adams, Kevin Jiggetts, Hagen Mills, Chandler Rachelle, Liana Ramirez, Tiffany Shepis, and Garrett Westton.

There is genre fun to be had here, without a doubt. The set-up is just unique enough to fit for a flick like this, while someone like Scout Taylor-Compton is actually rather perfectly cast as the pop star. It’s all somewhat dependent on you liking films with a B-movie style, but they don’t quite have their tongue in cheek here, which sets it apart. Mitchell Altieri and Lee Cummings direct it all with an admirable dedication, never winking at the camera. That can be dangerous, considering the cliched nature of the script, but it’s to their credit that they can make it work.

Star Light arguably shouldn’t work, but the throwback vibe to B-movie genre fare ultimately does. There are flaws, to be sure, including some questionable acting outside of Taylor-Compton’s work, an ending that doesn’t stick the landing, and some dialogue that probably could have used another polish. Still, the feel of it all makes it so that the good outweighs the bad. You just need to keep your expectations in check, as this is a mix of horror and sci-fi that never shoots to be anything more than it already is. As long as you go in knowing that, it’s hard not to like what’s on display here.

Now playing, Star Light is a fun little flick for those looking for light genre thrills. Scout Taylor-Compton has always deserved more roles and bigger parts, so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Overall, this offering should satisfy those interested in having their sci-fi or their horror cross over with something a bit unusual. Take a look and you’ll likely enjoy what you find…

Be sure to check out Star Light, available now!

(Photos courtesy of 1091 Media)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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