The Neon Demon(2016)
The wicked die young.
Elle Fanning leads this modeling thriller from filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives) as an aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles where her youth, vitality, and naivety make her the target of others in the industry. Co-stars Jena Malone (The Hunger Games), Christina Hendricks (Drive), and Keanu Reeves.
On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray
Available from 7 providers
BY Tony Stamp Flicks Writer
Bold, bloody, and kind of boneheaded, Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest isn’t for everyone. A wallow in the world of high fashion, it unfolds like a glitter-bombed nightmare.... More
The Neon Demon continues on the path Refn started down with Bronson, interested more in dream logic than narrative and filling the runtime with a simmering sense of dread. It contains his most avant garde sequences so far, reaching almost Lynchian levels of abstraction.
Playing a fresh faced ingenue, Elle Fanning isn’t too far out of her comfort zone, but she works wonders as a magnet for our sympathies, the camera honing in on the vulnerability in her face as she navigates this strange world of (primarily male) predators.
Like his fellow Dane Lars Von Trier, Refn is aware of the line he’s walking, taking his penchant for shock tactics right up to the edge of ridiculousness then cheerfully jumping over. He engages with his central ideas in such visceral ways that it can be easy to miss how aware the film is of its own ludicrousness. Like Von Trier, Refn just wants a reaction.
As befitting its subject matter, The Neon Demon looks gorgeous, each frame filled with primary-coloured eye candy. And its conclusions might be silly, but they’re distinctively Refn’s, presented with an intensity few others could manage. Certain images burn themselves into the subconscious, to re-emerge and be chewed over later. It isn’t for everyone, but adventurous viewers will find plenty to luxuriate in.Hide
The Peoples' Reviews
Your rating & reviewRate / Review this movie
Rate and/or review
The Neon Demon
BY yuefei superstar
The film's title is paired with something like a logo representing the director Refn, and I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it was purposefully done so to parody the brand culture of the fashion industry or not (I'll probably never find out).
Anyways, into the... More review.
Let's start with the goodies. The film's cinematography and visual style (for the most part) is undeniably beautiful, filled to the brim with symmetry and pretty colours and refreshing transitions and camera movements. It's style also adds to the themes of superficiality, which is very dominant in the film, and therefore has an excuse to look pretty. The electronic score is great, and put me into an almost trance-like state while watching the film. I really liked the symbolism in the film, and how these symbols, almost like extended metaphors, gain more weight as the film progresses (which is symbolism well-done). The majority of the film is carried out creatively, with an atmospheric and slow-burning approach that works very well here. The shock factor's raised pretty high, perhaps to the point where it feels a bit "edgy", but it definitely contributes to the overall enjoyment factor.
My problem lies within two things: the script, the "pretentiousness", and the credits sequence. First of all, the script stumbles and falls a little in the second half, but remain mostly consistent for the most part; the ending is really where this film failed me. It felt pointless and unaffecting, and the film's shock value had become tiresome for me. It wasn't satisfying in the sense that it did little to change the film, but instead left you feeling empty, no questions or emotions apart from that consistent nausea as a result of the immoral absurdities portrayed in the film. The subject matter that many claim the film to be tackling feels broad and generalised instead of deep and profound, and the credits sequence felt as if it belonged to a different film entirely.
Despite all its problems, "The Neon Demon" was still enjoyable and has a lot to offer.Hide
BY fairbrother superstar
BY DanielK superstar
BY cinemusefilm superstar
The opening scenes compel the voyeurism that is lifeblood to the fashion industry: a reclining young model dripping with blood while flashbulbs immortalise her beauty into captivity. Sixteen year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) has just arrived in Los Angeles and lied about her age to get into modelling. She stands out for her wide-eyed ‘deer in the headlight’ naivette and ephemeral other-worldly beauty and is immediately noticed by fashion industry exploiters and lesser mortals. With feigned innocence that disguises her inner narcissism, she is quickly preyed upon by human and other predators.
It’s pointless to describe specific incidences or plot twists as this mashup montage of horror, thriller, and melodrama is all about atmospheric metaphors. Several scenes are composed with pure artistry and Jesse is the artwork. Her friends turn out to be enemies and nobody in this industry cares for anyone except themselves. It is a world of pixels not principles, and everything is false image and silicon-pumped body parts to shame other women into buying empty promises. Again we are reminded “beauty isn’t the only thing: it’s everything”.
What makes this film so engaging is how Jesse seems to float angelic-like across such a brightly lit but ugly canvas. Different makeup styles depict her variously as a Grecian goddess or a metallic super-woman while those around her remain trapped in the ordinariness of their bodies and their lives. The mascara-thin values that drive the models are glorified with high-glamour photography, only to be revealed as a facade hiding a primitive blood-lust and taste for human body parts. Elle Fanning plays her part with softly-spoken understatement but overwhelming aesthetic presence. This is a clever film with several surprise turns that leave you guessing what will happen. Perfect viewing for anyone aspiring to be a model.Hide
BY lionspaw lister
The director who has produced other fascinating film which live beyond the edge of strange and are constantly moving behind or above your expectation, does it again with this beautifully crafted subtle horror flick. Gorgous bodies of fashion in a world of subtle pain and fright, seldom gross enough to drive one away or safe enough to relax. If it's your cup of tea you'll enjoy the brew.
Showing 5 of 6 reviews. See all reviews