Monday, July 31, 2017

Movie: The Neon Demon (2016)

When The Neon Demon first came out last year, I really wanted to see it on the big screen, it looked over-the-top artsy with models and blood. Unfortunately I missed it at the theater and rented it from Netflix. (It seems I'm always one step behind on movies. Lol.) I can assure you that it's not filled with as much weirdness, horror, and model exploitation as I had hoped for, but visually it's very dream-like and there are unsettling parts throughout that would file it under "Thriller/ Horror".


***Warning spoilers ahead...

We meet Jesse played by Elle Fanning, that just moved to LA to be an aspiring model ~ she's very young and basically looks like all the other models in the movie. She meets Ruby played by Jena Malone, who befriends her AND betrays her. (I've always loved Jena Malone, ever since Donnie Darko.) Jesse becomes popular with photographers, she's very vain, and the other models hate her for it, so they eat her~ literally devouring her youth and beauty. Yes, the gore comes at the end, but you don't see it happen, just a shower of blood and a tasty eyeball.


That being said, the acting is great. All the main characters are horrible people in their own way ~ constantly wanting something from Jesse. Elle Fanning plays the perfect role of timid but needy, shy but overly confident.

The instrumental music in The Neon Demon is a character unto itself. It has a great Retro Wave/ early industrial soundtrack that fits the scenes perfectly. The soundtrack is by Cliff Martinez and if you get the DVD, watch the extras about the music. He talks about bands like The Pet Shop Boys being a big influence and you can hear it. Here's a sample...


In the dream-like sequences, the shots look like real fashion shoots. You can tell there was a lot of time put into placement, colors and angles. If you take a bunch of still pictures from the movie you'd swear they were done by famous photographers. (p.s. what's with triangles in the movies. See The Void.)





There's still a few questions left unanswered...If Jesse is successful why does she live in a dumpy motel? How did her parents die? Did she kill them? Why a cougar? (Seems random, but after watching the movie you'll understand this question.) Who owns the house that Ruby is staying at? Are the other models all in on eating newbies? Is it an Elizabeth Bathory thing? Have they killed before?

That being said, I still enjoyed it. The Neon Demon was visually refreshing and had great music, two things you don't often see in a contemporary horror movie. For a classic, Suspiria comes to mind. I'd say this movie is worth checking out even if it's just to watch pretty people doing horrible things.


2 comments:

  1. I found some scenes a little long but overall I enjoyed the arty style and the coloured lighting that reminded me of Suspiria. Jena Malone was amazing!

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