Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: The Neon Demon

Rated R; 117 minutes; $34.99; Amazon
Arriving today on Blu-ray and DVD from Broad Green Pictures is the horror-thriller The Neon Demon. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the film stars Elle Fanning, Kapl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Christina Hendricks, and Keanu Reeves.

The Neon Demon centers on Jesse (played by Elle Fanning), a teenager who had left her small Georgia town in the hopes of becoming a fashion model in Los Angeles. During her first photo shoot, Jesse befriends Ruby (played b Jena Malone), a makeup artist, who later takes her to a party where she meets two other models Gigi (played by Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (played by Abbey Lee). Let's just say the models aren't exactly nice to her; both judging her natural beauty.

Jesse quickly gets signed by a modeling agent (played by  Christina Hendricks) by telling the woman she is nineteen-years-old instead of her real age - sixteen. This leads to her landing a test shoot with the famous photographer Jack (played by Desmond Harrington), which outrages Gigi and Sarah.

Despite her possible rise to stardom in the fashion world, Jesse is still living in a ruined down motel, managed by the creepy Hank (played by Keanu Reeves). She tries to begin a relationship with aspiring photographer Dean (played by Karl Glusman), but her narcissism ruins everything.

Unfortunately for Jesse, she's about to learn that the saying, "Beauty is more than skin deep," means nothing in the high-fashion modeling world.

Blu-ray special features includes:
  • Audio Commentary with Director Nicolas Winding Refn and Elle Fanning.
  • Behind the Soundtrack of The Neon Demon
  • About The Neon Demon

Final Thoughts: After premiering at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Amazon Studios distributed the film to select theaters in late June. I recall reading a few articles about the film prior to it's release; being intrigued about it, I had requested to review the Blu-ray.

From the get-go, the movie is visually stunning with great cinematography with several creative scenes by the director, almost resembling something David Lynch would craft together. The entire cast gives great performances. The only problems I had with the film is the lack of character development and the bizarre, twisted ending that didn't make much sense to me.

Overall, The Neon Demon is beautiful to look at, but deep down it's very shallow and soulless; though this might have been the director's original intent. Nevertheless, my eyes were practically glued to the screen for entire running time.

*I received a complimentary copy from Broad Green Pictures in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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