Thursday, 23 June 2016 00:00

The Neon Demon Featured

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Review written by Jon Patch with 1 out of 4 paws

The Neon Demon

Amazon Studios, Bold Films, Broad Green Pictures, Wild Bunch, Gaumont, Space Rocket Nation and Vendian Entertainment present an R rated, 117 minute, Drama, Horror, Thriller, directed, story and screenplay by Nicolas Winding Refn with a theater release date of June 24, 2016.

 

Jesse (Elle Fanning) has just moved to Los Angeles like so many other young girls in hope of fulfilling her modeling dream. She moves into a sleazy and dangerous motel in Pasadena which is run by a slightly obnoxious man, Hank (Keanu Reeves) who has his own dangerous and scary manners. No portfolio or any pictures to show she takes some shots with rookie photographer Dean (Karl Glusman) who ends up later dating her but to no possible future. Jesse is all alone, no parents and at just sixteen years old and not even a high school grad her days are numbered in LA, or are they? Actually she makes a friend in make-up artist Ruby (Jena Malone), who also does make-up at the neighborhood morgue and later Jesse gets signed by Roberta Houghman agency and told to lie about her age, no longer sixteen but more saleable at nineteen, and legal I guess!

It turns out that Ruby introduces her to her friends, models Sarah (Abbey Lee) and Gigi (Bella Heathcote) all girls admire her beauty but try to beat her down as the new meat, naturally beautiful but no experience in a here today gone tomorrow industry. Well the girls are wrong and everyone from Jack (Desmond Harrington) to several other fashion designers want to work with her. This is taking away attention and business from the other girls and that is not making them happy. It seems Jesse has that “thing” that everyone in the fashion industry wants. Everything worth having in life hurts a little but little does Jesse know in the end it will hurt a lot. Jesse has no intention of being like the others but all the others want to be like Jesse or in some cases have her. In the end the audience gets a firsthand look at the price of true beauty in the modeling world to the degree of a dangerous blood bath. In this story it’s an eye for an eye and you truly are what you eat and just wait until you experience the cold and morbid sex scene at least I got to see a big cat.

By all means this story is true to some degree but of course over exaggerated for sure. It has a good score and some interesting fashions but the direction although artsy and outside the box it still doesn’t make up for the fact it took 2 hours from my life that I really want back. Yes there are some interesting camera angles, lighting and back drops but nothing can make up for just how strange this story is. There are good moments that I think are going to develop into something substantial but nope it drops off like a model falling off her runway. That would have been more interesting! I really could not wait for this to end but it senselessly just kept going.

Ok so I have to explain my one paw at least. The acting over all is quite good especially by Fanning. I liked her from “Super 8” and continue to like her acting ability even in a bizarre movie like this one. Malone also does justice to her character bringing a touch of lesbian love to a whole new level. Lee and Heathcote are just strange but pull it off well and Reeves was wasted in this role. I think the only reason he is in it is for some star power. Glusman also had potential to bring more to the plate with his character but the writers just threw him away. This film makes you wonder if you’re safer on the streets of LA or in the fashion world. Based on this story I’m thinking I might survive longer on the streets. Look for this film soon in a red box on a street near you.

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