The Neon Demon (2016) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has. Runtime: 118 mins Release Date: 24 Jun 2016
The best and scariest movie of 2016 by far! (by shivamchowdhary336)
Wow. I just saw this movie and my god, this movie has total staying power! The plot follows a young 16 year old girl who moves to LA to pursue her love of modeling, but soon strange things start to happen with her fellow models - and in it's third act the film takes the most unusual, scary and horrifically violent path ever taken in a film. But it was amazing. It was truly, truly amazing.The cinematography in this film was beautiful! Every shot in this movie was absolutely gorgeous to look at. NWR definitely used colors to his advantage. The soundtrack to this movie was eerie, surreal and <more>
very very scary. This film was more of a very intense psychological thriller with adult undertones in its first and second half, but is definitely a gruesome horror film in it's third. The transition was quite abrupt, but worked very well.Referring back to the soundtrack, Cliff Martinez made a wonderful electronic soundtrack for this movie that is scary and happy at the same time. It resembles the soundtrack from the 'Portal' game franchise. However, I understand this movie will not be for everyone. And critics most likely wont like it, on Rotten Tomatoes for critics it's rotten, but for audience it's fresh. The result will end up being like the reviews for The Butterfly Effect, which has a staggering rating of 31% for critics, and 81% for audience. And personally, I loved The Butterfly Effect. The only con that I can really think of is that the script at times can be weak and the first half of the film drags on a bit - but don't be put off by that. The film is a beautiful, scary, intense, gruesome, and stylish metaphorical horror film. Definitely worthy of a 10 out of 10 for me - don't let the critics put you off. If you like stylish, scary and violent films - the Neon Demon is for you.
His most experimental film among his entire filmography. (by trada122)
After watching his previous film "Only God Forgives" and also his Norse themed film "Valhalla Rising", I never thought he could make a more experimental film but I was wrong. His latest film "The Neon Film" by far is his most experimental film. You could almost say he made "his Eraserhead" just now. Also, he homages to Dario Argento's Suspiria or even some of Mario Bava's films when it comes to the cinematography of the film. Throughout the film, like Suspiria, you see the usage of the bright red light, in a surreal nightmarish way. People also <more>
seem to compare this film to a mash-up between David Lynch's Mulholland Drive & Dario Argento's Suspiria. While I do completely agree with the Suspiria comparison, I'd say it's more Inland Empire than Mulholland Drive, due to its extreme surrealistic dreamlike presentation considering Inland Empire is even MORE surreal than Mulholland Drive . I've even also heard people compare the film to Black Swan, though I think the way The Neon Demon depicts its brutality and the violence, it reminds me more of Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue than Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. However, The Neon Demon, like both Perfect Blue and Black Swan, do focus intensely on the theme of physical beauty, superficiality, and the facade among the "entertainment industries".One thing I personally thought was interesting, even aside from the gorgeous cinematography that's very Argento & Bava like and Cliff Martinez's usual brilliant contribution with the film's soundtrack, is the main theme of physical beauty. But unlike most of the films about physical beauty and supermodels, this film actually "admits" that beauty actually gets you to places. Even has a scene where the characters are discussing inner beauty vs. outer beauty, where one of them states the most uttered " fact", about how inner beauty is more important, while another character, a fashion designer, actually states something most would never say or even admit, which is that it's actually the outer beauty that makes most people give the "attractive person" a second glance. Which I honestly thought was interesting, the way the film focused on the narcissism of physical beauty and the brutal reality of receiving many opportunities if you are pulchritude and beautiful while among the "non-attractive people", only a few selective and anomalies will be given many opportunities. I honestly have had discussions with a friend of mine about this topic, about how most people say it's the inner beauty that is the most important, when the brutal and harsh reality is that outer beauty is actually what gives the person many opportunities in life. And I think there is some real truth to the outer beauty aspect that most people don't seem to delve into in real life or at least don't admit it out loud . I genuinely enjoyed the simple, yet somewhat of a subversive take, on physical beauty and narcissism. Remember: "Beauty isn't everything. It's the only thing." I could see why some, if not most people, would not enjoy this film. I've even heard people call this film Refn's worst film. Personally, I think it's his most experimental, inventive, and surrealistic film even above "Valhalla Rising" and his previous film "Only God Forgives" . The cinematography, just like his last two film Drive & Only God Forgives is gorgeously shot, and the fact that the film reminded me of Suspiria wouldn't be surprised if he admitted Suspiria to be one of the main influences for The Neon Demon made me smile, especially as a cinephile. The soundtrack of the film definitely is reminiscent of both Drive & Only God Forgives as Cliff Martinez took the similar routes and tackled the same genre of synth music . Only, for me, The Neon Demon is slowly becoming my personal favorite, even among Drive & Only God Forgives. And the introduction of Julian Winding Refn's nephew as part of the soundtrack team, was the perfect decision. As for the acting, they definitely are decent. By no means are they Daniel Day-Lewis or Marlon Brando, but they do a decent job at it. And honestly, the acting in the film is a minor factor and one of the least things that carry the film it's really the artistic genius outlet by Nicolas Winding Refn . Though I will give Elle Fanning for accepting such a dark or even dangerous if you will role at such a young age. And I'd say this is Jena Malone's best role since Donnie Darko. As for Bella Heathcote & Abbey Lee, while their actings aren't necessarily their most impressive aspect of them, they are undoubtedly eye candies. There's also a somewhat of a minor role for Keanu Reeves, but surprisingly I ended up liking his character and found his character to be darkly humorous.Overall, The Neon Demon is THE most experimental film made by Refn. It definitely will not be for everyone, but for appreciators of art-house/experimental films, looking for some stunning cinematography, or even if you want to look at the "facts" of physical beauty from a different and subversive perspective, I say check it out. Plus, I'm sure even the ones that might not like the film will at least enjoy the soundtrack. The film's a 10 out of 10 for me.
I'm glad I took the chance to watch this despite the ratings. I really enjoyed it, and have seen it a few times now. It is abstract and has a pretty simple message about the issues with vanity and the modeling industry specifically. But personally, I found it entertaining and the acting was on point from all the actors / actresses. Keanu Reeves did a great job; his character was horrible yet hilarious at the same time.POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEADThere's pretty much one sane character the amateur photographer and everyone else is psycho or becomes corrupted in some way. But the <more>
characters were pretty interesting. There were a lot of strange things that were a bit "what...?", but it worked for a more abstract film. I also think it was clever how the woman who warned Jesse at the beginning to watch out for the male photographer and that "it's good to have good girls around" was ultimately the one who was the worst psycho of all.
A neon lit parable of big city poison. (by paddybass)
Nicolas Winding-Refn is a director who defies all analysis. Most considered him a surefire "Commercial Success" following on from his exceptional adaptation, Drive back in 2011. However, against all odds Winding-Refn went darker, more subversive and all together more polarising with his 2013 release Only God Forgives.The Neon Demon is sure to be equally divisive. I was lucky enough to attend the red carpet premiere of the film in Cannes and was personally blown away by it's unique style & vision. It's long slider shots demand attention and draw attention to every minute <more>
detail on offer. It's use of mirrors encourages the viewer to look beyond the "real" world and examine what lies on the other side.Obviously, it goes without saying that this film looks amazing. If nothing else, most of Winding-Refn's supporters or critiques will admit that his films aesthetics are always incredible. However, despite the muted dialogues and slow pacing, the film gripped me for its full 110 minute run time. This was because, although the movie is a "horror", it's so much more. It's an examination of the human obsession with beauty.Elle Fanning does a remarkable turn as Jesse - a young runaway, trying to make it big in Los Angeles. Her beauty is so powerful that things begin to work to her favour almost immediately on her arrival. More over than that, her beauty seems to encapsulate and draw in those around her, while repelling her peers who scathe her. Her natural beauty is something that all the plastic surgery in LA can't generate.Jena Malone steals the film as Ruby - a make up artist who befriends Jesse as soon as she arrives in the town. She also introduces Jesse to the vacuous and vindictive pair of models played by Bella Heathcote and Abbey Lee. If you haven't guessed already this is a film with a real focus on females. Although there are a handful of male characters Dexters Desmon Harrington does an incredible turn as a high power fashion photographer , the focus here is all feminine. Even down to the decision to bring in a female DOP to shoot the film.There are too many twists and turns to get into here, but all I can say is that this could be Winding-Refn's most powerful movie to date. It's an analysis on the human condition and our obsession with natural beauty. It claws and scratches at our preconceptions and breaks us down, revealing the gooey centre; what makes us tick. Stellar performances, amazing visuals, a banging score and a unique storyline will cement this as a cult classic - of this I am sure.I cannot wait for the theatrical release if only to have more time to soak in the films dreamy visuals, take in more of the films subtexts and once again be blown away by the force of nature that is NWR.
Utterly Fantastic, but Not for Everyone (by jzonda415)
I will preface this by saying that if you haven't seen any other Refn movies, like "Drive" or "Only God Forgives," then you should see those first to see what you're getting into. I thoroughly loved this film, and will stand by in saying that it's an incredible movie. However, if you can't get through Refn's other works, or didn't really "get" them, then it won't deliver the same payoff that I received. To clarify, I'm not saying that if you hate this movie then you "just don't get it." But, seek out other Refn works <more>
first to see if you'll like something like this. This is an incredibly cerebral experience. It's is a lot of silent and dialogue free moments where you take in the world the movie cultivates. The cinematography, like in all of Refn's movies, is simply stunning. The colors craft the tone of the movie so effectively it tells a whole story with just itself; it almost is another character. Every shot feels expertly crafted, well put together, like a painting. No time in this 2 hour movie ever feels that wasted. Every shot feels necessary, every frame is splendid.The acting is also on point. Elle Fanning is perfectly cast as the main girl in this film. Her innocence, her shyness, her entire persona is conveyed very effectively. Many of the side characters also fit their character well. Keanu Reeves fit his character well, along with Abbey Lee. But Jena Malone stood out especially to me. The mannerisms of her character, the subtleties, the way she talked was fantastic. Without spoiling anything, a certain scene in this movie with Malone contains so much passion and emotion that I was completely blown away. She, along with Fanning, were my favorite parts of this. I would recommend this movie wholeheartedly, even knowing that it's really not for everyone. It's beyond strange and weird, and is a lot more visual storytelling than a solid narrative. It still has a story, nonetheless. If you're into that, then this may be for you, and you be able to get into it. If you're not, or are skeptical, then you will be disappointed. Nonetheless, I standby in saying this is a great film, and that there ought to be something in it you can enjoy. It's weird, it's strange, it's unique, it's f*cked-up, but it's also fantastic. 9/10
I cannot understand all the hatred for this movie. Nicolas Winding Refn bounces back from Only God Forgives with this dark, twisted and nightmarish horror film about a young model in Los Angeles who attracts fascination and unwanted attention from the modelling industry and her fellow models. Admittedly, it's only a good movie on a story level. The plot is relatively thin and the characters are underdeveloped. As a piece of art it's an utter knockout. Every single frame is a painting and every image advances the story forward and creates new meaning. This isn't a narrative film. <more>
It's a film to experience and to be amazed by. This is a rare movie where being style-over-substance is brilliant because the style is the substance. The artistic mastery on display here takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. This movie will have you feeling joyous one moment and terrified the next. The soundtrack is absolutely flawless as well. Elle Fanning is great and all the actors do a good job with their limited dialogue. Even Keanu Reeves is decent in this movie. A flawed masterpiece, The Neon Demon is a mesmerizing, hypnotic and mind-blowing cinematic nightmare that stands high above most of 2016's other films, even though quite a lot of people disliked it. 9/10
I went to a screening of 'The Neon Demon' in my town this afternoon. I should start by saying that it was a particularly fun screening since I was alone in the room and it kind of helped with the atmosphere of the movie.'The Neon Demon' is the new feature film by NWR as it was stylized in the opening title . I was a big fan of 'Drive' and I also enjoyed 'Only God Forgives' even though most people didn't like. I knew going in that the movie didn't receive the praise of 'Drive' so I was expecting something like 'Only God Forgives' and <more>
it's pretty much what I got.Elle Fanning plays a young underage model trying to make it big in the city of angels. The opening scene will dive you right into this world with great cinematography and a very cool song. I actually thought that the visuals, the acting and the soundtrack were by far the best aspects of this movie.This is a pretty dark movie, but I actually found myself laughing a couple of times. Keanu Reeves' supporting character has a couple of good lines and the movie itself also has an interesting commentary about the world of fashion... even though it's delivered in a radically surreal way.Saying that the visuals are great is an understatement: the art design is impressive, the lighting is perfect in multiples scenes and the colour palette is really "in your face". There are two 'mind- trip' scenes in the movie that are worth the price of admission alone.I had a couple of issues with the character development of our main character Fanning in the script. I hate when art films immediately gets stamped 'style over substance', and I don't think it was the case here neither. However, I don't think NWR did a good job at portraying her evolution through the movie. Without getting into spoilers, Jesse Fanning is initially portrayed as being timid and insecure. At some point in the film her character experiences a sudden shift in personality that I didn't exactly bought. Even though you might think the movie is a bit long at times, stick to it until the end, the final act is pretty crazy and rewarding. Jena Malone's performance was amazing to say the least, she went totally wild in this film. All things together I liked 'The Neon Demon' even though I had a couple of issues here and there. It's a cool "horror" movie with a very twisted and subtle sense of humour. Maybe not the perfect date movie, but it's definitely worth a watch!7.5/10
I wouldn't really recommend The Neon Demon unconditionally to my friends; not because it's a bad film quite the opposite but because it's the kind of movie that would inevitably lead some of them to think "he told me to watch it and said it was great. What kind of freak could possibly like that kind of stuff?"To call it "not for all tastes" is the understatement of the year, since the majority of audiences probably won't really appreciate its very droll mix of violence, cannibalism, dark comedy, necrophilia and fetishism. In fact, I will be very surprised <more>
if there isn't any condemnation or manifestation of outrage from groups or individuals arguing that it's yet another shallow male-directed film that objectifies, stereotypes and vilifies women. I'd also be willing to bet that Nicolas Winding Refn, who, like his fellow countryman Lars Von Trier, has a reputation for being a provocateur par excellence, had exactly this type of reaction in mind when he made it. There is a semi-gratuitous maybe-it's-a-dream sequence where a female character is forced to fellate a knife blade that seems designed precisely to elicit that sort of response.Deliberate excesses aside, The Neon Demon is possibly Nicolas Winding Refn's most straightforward narrative in a while certainly more linear than Only God Forgives or Bronson . The film follows Jesse Elle Fanning , a 16-year-old ingenue who moves to L.A. or, to be exact, to a seedy motel in Pasadena, run by a sleazy and sinister manager played by a cast-against-type Keanu Reeves hoping to become a model. Her naïveté and awkwardness notwithstanding, she first catches the eye of a powerful model agency head Christina Hendrickson , then an influential photographer Desmond Harrington and finally a big fashion designer Alessandro Nivola who casts her as the centerpiece of his new show, much to the chagrin of established models Sarah Abby Lee and Gigi Bella Heathcote , who don't take kindly to being laid by the wayside to make room for a fresh new face. She is also befriended by Ruby Jena Malone , a seemingly well- meaning fashion make-up artist who moonlights at the local mortuary by applying her skills to make cadavers more presentable, and by an impossibly nice young man named Dean Karl Glusman who would like to be Jesse's boyfriend and protector. This being a horror film, at least on the surface, things starts to get weird for Jesse when her new friend and rivals decide to do something about her rapid ascent to the rank of top model. To say more would stray into spoiler territory, so I'll stop here.Like Quentin Tarantino, Nicolas Winding Refn is a master regurgitator of old genre films. "Drive" was the bastard son of Michael Mann's "Thief" and Walter Hill's "Driver", with a few other ingredients tossed in for good measure the film also owed a huge debt to Jean-Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai" . "The Neon Demon" is his love song to Dario Argento in particular "Suspiria", which is visually and thematically referenced multiple times and to countless Euro-thrillers from the seventies, starting with the fantastic but little-seen in the USA Belgian lesbian vampire/Countess Bathory retelling "Daughters of Darkness".Punctuated by a great electronic score by Cliff Martinez which sounds like the best soundtrack that Goblin never wrote in the last 20 years , The Neon Demon is a visual feast that makes the neon- drenched "Drive" and "Only God Forgives" look almost drab by comparison. This is a gorgeous-looking film, set in beautiful locations, with a cast to match.The women are all impossibly beautiful and incredibly shallow and repellent at the same time: they look and move like poisonous snakes whose skin you would really like to reach out and caress, knowing full well that you are likely to receive a painful bite. Male characters on the other hand are almost uniformly visually unpleasant and slimy or feral-looking Desmond Harrington's photographer in particular looks gaunt and menacing like a wolf circling a wounded animal . Only Dean, the prospective boyfriend, seems like a good, decent human being, but this is a movie that seems hell-bent on confirming the old adage that "nice guys finish last".Elle Fanning is good, especially at the beginning of the film where she is required to look shy and insecure -- in fact there are no weaklings in the whole cast. But the film belongs to Jena Malone, whose character undergoes the most startling transformation as the story progresses. Her performance is truly daring and committed and easily the most memorable in a film filled with weird and eye- catching characters. When you see the film, you'll know what I'm talking about.Although The Neon Demon is ostensibly a horror film, underneath all the scary movie trappings lies a very black and bleak comedy about a superficial world where appearances are everything and the only way to survive is to embrace quite literally a dog-eat-dog attitude. It's most definitely not a movie for everyone and the only film in recent memory where a scene involving an act of lesbian necrophilia doesn't feel gratuitous and out of place , but it's the product of a talented director who has completed a metamorphosis, which began with Bronson 2009 , from "simple" genre filmmaker into full- blown auteur, with a personal and distinctive visual and narrative style. If you are at all interested in cinema beyond regular multiplex fare, it's definitely worth investing 2 hours of your time.
Incredible directing and cinematography in this abstract art film (by gtylerpayne)
It seems that, after the massive success of Drive, Refn is being given the opportunity to make the films he wants to make and take a lot of creative license.I think this is a good thing, and it's a smart way to go about a career in any creative industry. Achieve mainstream success doing things that are commercially viable, and when you have people's attention and trust, you can do something more abstract and creative and people will actually go see it with an open mind, and quite possibly love it. Another example of this is a band like Radiohead, they put out "Creep" which <more>
is a perfect radio single, and when that got them famous, they went and made albums that would never have been produced or listened to if they had done them straight away. This is a cool movie. It's not for everyone. The editing, camera work, framing, pace, screenplay, lighting, production design, wardrobe... all the creative elements of this film have a modern, stylistic feel that seems ahead of it's time. It's the type of movie you may want to tell all your friends is your "favorite" even if it's not, just to make yourself look cool haha.. sad but true The plot is very abstract, and contains a lot of elements of surrealism. Refn reminds me of film-makers like David Lynch or Terry Gilliam or even Salvador Dali. I like that he took a risk and really went with his vision to make a film that could never have mainstream appeal. It is a piece of art, and left open to interpretation. The whole thing may be a dream, or an alternate reality, or some combination of these with real life. The production design and framing and editing made me feel things and think things and imagine things. It seemed to be trying to take me on a journey through space and time while telling an intoxicating story that was an allusion to the real world. It helps to be in the right state both mentally and physically for a movie like this. It's the type of movie you want to watch in a very dark room, on a very comfortable couch, with a big screen and a great surround sound system. Then you can prepare to get lost in the film and experience it as a whole, instead of just watching it.I definitely can't watch movies like this everyday, and while it is a great exercise in expanding your mind, being creative, and thinking abstract thoughts, it may seem boring on the wrong day. A cool thing about movies like this, is the re-watch-ability of them. Most movies are best the first time you see them, and don't offer much for a repeated viewing. This is the type of movie that can be watched many times. The experience will be different each time and you may notice or realize things you didn't see the first time. It reminds me of David Lynch and his movie "Mulholland Drive." I really love that movie and it is similar in the way that people love it or hate it. With "Mulholland Drive," I watched it many times, and grew to understand it on my own terms, which was a fun journey.I do hope that Reft doesn't decide to continue making movies that are always this abstract. Often times, I watch movies with a great plot, that are very entertaining films, but wish the director and cinematographer had been more creative with the lighting and camera work. Seeing his style and eye applied to mainstream blockbusters and thrillers would be really cool in my opinion, but I doubt he will ever go too far into directing movies with a typical "Hollywood" script. After the success of "Mulholland Drive," Lynch continued to make exclusively dreamy, abstract movies, and while I respected that, it just didn't seem necessary.Go check this movie out with an open mind on a night when you are relaxed and feeling good. Maybe watch it with some friends and have a good conversation afterward sharing thoughts and interpretations; I'm sure they will vary radically. You might love it, and you might hate it, but I think most people will respect the artistry of the film and have trouble forgetting it anytime soon.