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)

      • 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.


      • 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


    • 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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