Bold, remorseless, offensive and nonsensical are just some of the words to describe Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest effort.

By Jay Hunter – Much has been said about The Neon Demon, such is the polarising work of director Nicolas Winding Refn. However this is surely his most surreal outing to date.

Following Jesse (Elle Fanning) and her move to Los Angeles just after her 16th birthday to launch a career as a model. The head of a model agency tells the innocent teen that she has the qualities to become a top star. Jesse soon faces the wrath of ruthless vixens who despise her fresh-faced beauty. On top of that, she must contend with a seedy motel manager and a creepy photographer. As Jesse starts to take the fashion world by storm, her personality changes in ways that could help her against her cutthroat rivals.

To lump The Neon Demon in the same art-horror category as Starry Eyes would be unjust, as the movie manages to do much more. Although some viewers will undoubtedly see the movie as pretentious and contrived, it’s a true testament to how beautiful cinema can be, an un-wavered art form. Considered as straight-ahead horror, The Neon Demon delivers better than many pure attempts at the genre. The explosions of rainbow grimace are carried off with the style and swagger from the auteur. The dane is so incomparable in his style that he can be placed along side PT Anderson and Quentin Tarantino.

With an ending that is sure to throw even the most seasoned cinema fans and one of the best soundtracks of recent years, The Neon Demon is a sensory outing that needs to be experienced to believe.

 

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