During Nicholas Winding Refn’s film The Neon Demon we spend a lot of time gazing at clean open spaces and emptily decadent LA streets. The latter are populated by beautiful models who, in turn, glare at one another. For these creatures of terminal self-regard, appearance is the essence of life. It is also the essence of a death cult that is rooted in a soulless obsession with beauty as success. An unfettered embrace of narcissism and style earn the willing membership in a cutthroat nihilist club, its acolytes cutting, altering, and embalming themselves in order to reach an imagined ideal that gives them an opportunity to be paraded out on the runway, or frozen forever in unsmiling portraits. Not one for subtlety, Refn has turned the dark side of modeling into a horror film, one that will no doubt generate plenty of controversy.
Elle Fanning is Jesse, a quiet, wide-eyed and innocent READ MORE . . .