>> There are numerous films that deal with grief, and the unique ways we as humans cope with losing a loved one. However, A.T. White’s Starfish is a uniquely visceral portrait of grief set against the apocalypse. A film that is equally as beautiful as it is disturbing, Starfish’s influences are clear, yet it feels like the first of its kind.

After the death of a close friend, Virginia Gardner (Aubrey Parker) finds her way to her dead friend's apartment. When a strange signal triggers an apocalyptic event, Aubrey is confined to the apartment with a series of mysterious mixtapes which could possibly save the world. Starfish creates a pleasing yet unsettling sensory experience. Set to an eccentric indie rock soundtrack, Starfish is incredibly satisfying for both film buffs and music fanatics.

Starfish is crafted with a high level of sophistication—it’s engaging visuals, including mesmerizing special effects and 2D animation, carry the film. Its story is reminiscent of Terrence Malik’s work, it’s possibly something he might write if he was 30 years younger and in tune with the indie music scene. Similar to a Malik film, Starfish is very slow paced, it’s 101 minute run times feels like an eternity at times. This film doesn’t follow the average narrative film structure, and those looking for a fun comprehensible plot may be disappointed.

Starfish is a strong independent film that reaffirms a strong stylistic look doesn’t directly correlate with a large budget. Despite its faults, this film deserves to be recognized for its beautifully haunting execution. 6.5/10 <<

Starfish is set to release in select theatres this March and will be released on VOD May 28th.