Tuesday, August 23, 2016

THE NEON DEMON by Nicolas Winding Refn

The Plot: Jesse is a young aspiring model who arrives at Los Angeles with her innocent look and soon she starts what will be a successful career. But the older models see her as a threat, envy her looks and decide to show her that they would do whatever is necessary to be her.

The cast: Elle Fanning is perfect as Jesse, with her innocent smile, big eyes, but also reveals a darker side. As her friend Ruby, Jena Malone is deliciously twisted. As the two older and skinny models, Bella Heathcote and Abbey Lee are truly cold and artificial. The male characters aren’t that important and, to tell the truth, Keanu Reeves is irrelevant to the plot.

The Movie: Director Nicolas Winding Refn is what I call a movie author. His movies have a distinct look, strong colours, characters on the edge and there’s plenty of violence, but always with style. Sometimes they have more style than substance and that’s the case with this movie. Visually is a strong experience, although I’m not a big fan of long takes that seem to go on forever. I don’t know if I can call this an horror movie, I think it’s more like a very dark satire to the world of fashion. For this kind of movies to work for me, they need to have a stronger story and I need something more than style to chew on. Maybe there are one or two scenes that can be called gratuitous (the sex with the dead body), but I liked the euro-trash look of the movie that reminded me of some horror movies of the 60/70s, directed by people like Jesus Franco or Jean Rollin; there’s also shadows of SUSPIRIA. Of course this isn’t for everyone’s taste and I think something important is missing in it, but it has its moments and the end almost make it worthy of our attention.

My Rate: 4 (from 1 to 10)

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