I didn’t find much media buzz around this movie. I was curious about the film because what I did hear suggested it was going to be something of a psychological thriller. Women, models actually, living in Los Angeles mentally tormenting each other in a manner believable to anyone who’s ever dealt with models. This was not that movie at all. This is the most artsy film I will probably see in 2016. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “The Neon Demon” in this box office review…
First, you have to understand how artsy this film is. It’s so artsy, it almost feels like two completely separate films and I’m almost certain director Nicolas Refn prefers it that way. You have one part of the story which is the life of “Jesse” played by Elle Fanning at her hotel with her kind of boyfriend and then her life as a model. It literally feels and looks like two separate films. I’m leaning towards intentional planning over bad cinematography. I feel it was planned because both look incredible in their own ways. The modeling scenes have some of the most vivid colors and entertaining flashes of black to white to color to everything else and more. The motel scenes are grainy and dirty similar to the life she lives when she’s not part of the Los Angeles modeling scene. This film looks incredible.
Ok, now let’s get weird. This film uses symbolism like nudie pamphlets being handed out on the Vegas strip. It’s everywhere. It’s non stop. It’s inescapable. It’s leaves you feeling perplexed and possibly even slightly disturbed walking out of the theater. There’s murder. There’s dancing. There’s modeling. There’s minimal dialogue. There’s an over abundance of symbolism. I still don’t understand the neon triangles and what those were suppose to represent but they occurred throughout the film and if anyone knows why please comment below and inform me. The ending, we see something incredible disgusting but it’s symbolism for the passing of guilt and freeing oneself of the burden of guilt and how another human can pick up that guilt and carry it with them. It’s gross but it’s also poetic in a sense. I found myself thinking, “dear god this uncomfortable but my goodness this is a creative way to show a person self destruct.”
Ok, so all in all, the acting isn’t great. The dialogue is almost not even present and what dialogue is there feels like a high school junior could’ve written it and that’s about it. It’s slow. It’s bizarre. It’s artsy. It’s gonna probably make you feel like taking a prozac afterwards. It’s also gonna make you see models differently too. I’m still trying to figure out those stupid neon triangles and the ending is gross but clever.
“The Neon Demon” is playing in theaters now! I will not recommend anyone see this movie because I do not want people blaming me for whatever weird thoughts and/or feelings they experience from this bizarre film. If you do decide to watch this in theaters, VOD or Redbox you do so on your own merit and not by my recommendation (disclaimer over). So yeah, still don’t understand the neon triangles. Oh well, one of life’s great mysteries I suppose.