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Friday, December 9, 2016

The Neon Demon (2016)

A naive 16 year old girl (Elle Fanning) arrives in L.A. with the hope of breaking into the modeling business. Her innocence and natural beauty are like catnip to the corrupt and debauched narcissistic world of fashion. Will she survive or will they devour her? Nicolas Winding Refn's film is certainly the most glamorous horror film since THE HUNGER (1983) and has just about as much depth. That's not meant as a negative. This is an ape shit crazy movie! Totally insane! If you're looking for logic, coherence or good taste, don't even bother. But if you're looking for a dazzling audio/visual rollercoaster ride with occasional doses of wit, then enjoy! This is the best looking (vivid blues, blood reds and stark whites) and the best use of lighting I've seen in a movie all year. Like De Palma, Refn shows a preference for style over substance and that's okay by me. Refn "borrows" from Lynch, Polanski, Bava and even Russ Meyer. It's not the kind of movie where the acting matters much. Jena Malone manages to bring some interesting shades to her predatory lesbian and Elle Fanning is as great a camera subject as any young actress working today. Those used to Refn's testosterone levels in his previous films might be disappointed as he turns his eye to the distaff side. Can I recommend it? You should be able to tell by now if it's your cup of tea. With Keanu Reeves as a pedophile, Christina Hendricks, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee  and Alessandro Nivola.

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