Movie Reviews

The Neon Demon (2016)

the-neon-demon-2016-movie-posterDirector: Nicolas Winding Refn

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Charles Baker

Plot: Jesse, a young girl who has just turned 16, moves to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a model. Her youth and natural beauty generate jealousy to an extreme extent within the fashion industry, putting Jesse in grave danger.

My Thoughts: Second movie from my watch list crossed off! The Neon Demon was on the list for one reason alone – the polarizing reviews it has. Everyone either loves it or hates it and I was dying to know why, and which camp I was going to fall into.

For quite a while, I was absolutely digging the movie. Sure, I didn’t really understand all the arty farty parts but they were pretty to watch at least. I really felt for Jesse, I wanted her to succeed and I wanted to protect her. Then there was the whole scene with the leopard/panther/whatever it was inside her motel room. I thought ok, maybe that’s just a metaphor for something that I haven’t worked out yet, I’m still enjoying this movie.

From there it just went into major WTF mode. Just…I don’t even know. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it so I won’t go into details, and to be honest I’m not sure how I would describe the rest of the movie anyway. I get that it’s definitely a dig at how awful the fashion model industry is, but it goes so much further than that. It was odd, it was creepy, and I wasn’t a fan at all by the end of it.


Best Bit: Jesse’s response to one of the girls saying how her surgeon calls her ‘The Bionic Woman’ after all the work she’s had done. “Is that a compliment?”. I actually laughed out loud at that!

Worst Bit: If I say…Jena Malone. In the morgue. With a corpse. Not doing any makeup…but still having a good time. Do you know which bit I mean, if you’ve seen the movie? One of the creepiest things I’ve ever watched.

Fun Trivia: The film was shot in chronological order, and the ending was created and improvised on-set, according to Elle Fanning.

My Rating: 1 and a half eyeballs out of 5. Ugh…


12 thoughts on “The Neon Demon (2016)

      1. It’s more in tune with some of the other films NWR has done. People think all he’s done is Driver but he’s made a bunch of films before that though Drive is still his crowning achievement so far.


      2. I definitely need to give another of his films a go. I hated Drive when I first saw it but knew my husband would like it so I watched it with him 2 days after, and it’s a movie I’ve loved ever since!


  1. lol, as I said before, there’s a reason I find this one hard to recommend, despite loving it as much as I do. At least you gave it a try though! XD


    1. I’ll give any movie a go! To be honest it’s one of those movies where I CAN see why it’s a love/hate movie so I’m certainly not saying it’s a terrible movie, it’s just not one for me.


  2. I think your score is very fair, and I gave a similar one. I know this film wanted to go all artsy and “cleverly incomprehensible”, but you are so right – it just had too many wtf moments.


  3. But now that you’ve seen it, reading other people’s reviews of it is a lot of fun, because we’re all just experiencing the WTF-ness of it together. Welcome to the club.


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