Beauty and obsession form an appealing but treacherous cocktail in Nicolas Winding Refn’s grim fairy tale, The Neon Demon. When it comes to beauty, no one can be trusted.
The young and initially somewhat timid country girl Jesse (great acting by Elle Fanning) has moved to Los Angeles to get on in the world of modelling. With her beauty and vitality, she manages in no time to become the centre of attention, but has to deal with all-consuming competition and other models who are out for her blood.
The Neon Demon is a feast for the eyes. With its hypnotic images and enchanting music, the film sucks the viewer into a fascinating world. The film is best described as ‘Black Swan meets American Psycho’. We see young women engaged in a battle to the death. As in American Psycho, the shockingly shallow dialogue is an indictment of this world’s superficiality. As the film progresses more and more blood is spilled in the filmmaker’s highly beautified and idealised world. The Neon Demon is reminiscent of the films of David Lynch, who creates a highly evocative atmosphere in which to examine the dark side of humanity.