Streaming platforms are perfect for finding interesting and weird movies that you may have skipped during their initial theatrical run, and on Amazon Prime Video, a new challenger for your attention has just appeared in the form of The Neon Demon.
One of the most disturbing movies of the last decade. That is what this particular film is, and it comes courtesy of the Danish author (auteur) Nicholas Winding Refn. The previous work of Refn includes the Danish series Pusher, the British crime film Bronson, and the Ryan Gosling-film Drive, which famously blew up a one-take car accident scene, although the director thought that the accident actually improved the final outcome.
It has been said to Jesse (Elle Fanning) that she is a natural talent. This praise she receives carefully, but earnestly. She needs to believe that she’s nice enough at the tender age of 16 to be signed by a top modeling agency. So she forges the signature of her parents on a consent form and allows herself to be dragged into a world dominated by haughty models, enigmatic designers, and photographers who are mercurial. Jesse never stops depending on other individuals, but once she discovers that she is what everyone else dreams of being.
The Neon Demon might be a little bit of a high-risk, high-reward affair, but it’s still worth watching. You’re in for a truly astonishing experience, either way. Plus, Keanu Reeves is in it, and Keanu Reeves is loved by everybody.
“The Neon Demon” has several moments of awe-inspiring beauty. The moments in which Refn most obviously wears his influences on his sleeves (Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch came to mind most often) are some memorable dialogue scenes and several dream sequences, but it’s probably not coincidental that Jesse seems most lost in those scenes. In two runway sequences set in a futuristic nightclub that looks vaguely like a cross between “Tron” and “Under the Skin.” Refn Attempts to captivate the audience with the contours and expressions on Fanning’s face which is a bold move.
If you give yourself over to The Neon Demon, let yourself be completely immersed in its hypnotic fever dream, it will stick with you, burrowed in your subconscious. It truly is a work of art.Wenlei Ma