Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Neon Demon

A 16 year old girl (Elle Fanning) comes to LA and, through her looks, conquers the modelling scene. She quickly attracts all the eyes that matter, brushing aside two other models as well the makeup artist that assumed the position of looking after her. Even the guy who took the first photos that opened doors for her loses touch.
Clearly, something has to give; in the absence of a trade union to turn to, our neglected models apply an approach that classifies The Neon Demon as a psychological horror film. Oh, and as a bonus, drop Keanu Reeves in for a small “guest appearance” that's actually very effective in emphasising the horror element.
Style matters in a movie about models. Proceedings are slow and carefully articulated through occasional electronic music, quiet & slow dialog, but otherwise deafening quiet. Rarely do our characters blink.
As the movie progressed, and more and more opportunities for nudity were denied, I started to think The Neon Demon is another of those American cinema samples of puritanism. Actually, that's probably good, given Fanning’s age. However, that last act breaks the traditions of the preceding hour and a half with some gruesome stuff, necrophilia included.
Ultimately, the question to ask in this movie about beautiful women is just how important the external image is. Do we care at all for what's on the inside? Just how shallow are we? I often think such thoughts when I examine a piece of computer code, but The Neon Demon’s approach is more sexual. Its is a male dominated society where the females have to fight for the scraps.
Overall: Generally speaking, The Neon Movie is not my cup of film; I'm no fan of horror. However, there can be no denying its style and careful crafting. It is a work of art, not another product in the production line. 3 out of 5 crabs.

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