The Neon Demon

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Beauty isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

The Neon Demon is a seriously disturbing film. It offers a bleak look at the fashion industry of Los Angeles, and the horrible things that people will do for success.

The first thing I noticed was Refn’s unique style, which would have been incredible in and of itself. However, he uses it to add another layer to the film. The Neon Demon features beautiful cinematography, emulating the outward beauty that is portrayed through the subject matter. However, unlike the soulless husks that populate his film, Refn fills his work with perspective and allegory and commentary.

Refn’s depiction of the fashion industry, and society in general, is brutally honest. Neon Demon would have been a fantastic film if it stopped there, but the horror elements made the film even more intriguing for me. I particularly liked that nothing is blatantly explained, and the viewer has to put the pieces together to figure out what is really happening.

The entire cast did an excellent job. Elle Fanning being the obvious standout with her portrayal of the naive Jesse. Ruby (Jena Malone) was unrelentingly creepy.

There is a sense of dread and uneasiness in The Neon Demon that just doesn’t let up. The scene where Jack (Desmond Harrington) is alone with Jesse is downright disturbing, leaving the viewer questioning what his intentions are and whether or not he will perpetrate some vile act on the sweet Jesse.

There is one scene in The Neon Demon that I felt was too much. I understand what Refn was going for, and the meaning behind it, but it crossed the line for me. If it weren’t for that particular scene, I probably would have given this film five stars.

Despite that, The Neon Demon is a dark and enthralling film that deserves a watch.

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