Outside/Inside. Interior/Exterior. Bellies filled with blood but a pool without water. Doors always closed but torn skin. Vampires in Sleeping Beauty's castle. Pretty vain exercise of style but still recommended because this film, if not its characters, is alive.
If you can't beat them, eat them ! What demon has bitten NWR to seek inspiration after Helmut NEWTON, David LYNCH (Mulholland Drive), VERHOEVEN (Showgirls), Tony SCOTT (The Hunger)? Despite gorgeous images & a great music score by Cliff MARTINEZ, an inconsistent scenario (no script at all would have been better !), no good actors (except for Jena MALONE) & a weak ending, what a dissappointment. 2,5/5.
It's a different kind of cinema. It's less interested in telling a story than producing provocative images. It's a horror film, but it's also a science fiction film because it's an alternate reality. How else would you approach a subject with so much emptiness? I loved Keanu, who breaks away from his usual nice-guy dude roles, and tries something different.
Self-evident, not refined - stylished symbolism but lacks plot. A fascinating story lays somewhere underneath but NWR doesn't dare to or doesn't know how to tell it. Fanning is not luminous nor strong enough to play a Goddess.
What a fairy tale: once upon a time, Terrence Malick had a baby with a Vogue magazine and that child watched Mean Girls way too many times. Neon Demon is a style exercise, a brand-to-be-recognized and a Hollywood glamatron - but it's not valuable cinema. It does what the industry does: glues together a lot of iconic projections, but with too little thoughts. This is a story that didn't need to be (re)told.
The Neon DEMON is a shiver down your spine, a lump in your throat: a dark triangular nightmare who wants to seduce you. And if that ghost bewitches you, you can't run away. If that delirium catches you, you can't escape.
During pre-production on 1983's 'Scarface,' De Palma asked cinematographer John A. Alonzo to give him the most beautiful images possible, so he could "put violence inside of them." This is much how punk visionary Refn's latest operates. The more he perfects an image (via acid-noir lighting and eerie framing), the greater our discomfort. And, entranced though you are, you long for something raw, real.
Though not surprisingly, this was a let down. Ever since Drive, Refn seems to have let himself get caught up in his own ego and has pushed himself into tepid, self-aggrandizing territory. Bland performances (not purposefully "empty" as some critics may say) from a mediocre cast, paired with a tiresome neon aesthetic and laughable sequences that border on masturbatory. Couldn't care less about this.