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The Neon Demon (2016)

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An aspiring model, Jesse, is new to Los Angeles. However, her beauty and youth, which generate intense fascination and jealousy within the fashion industry, may prove themselves sinister.

Writers:

Nicolas Winding Refn (story by), Nicolas Winding Refn (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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1,162 ( 117)
18 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elle Fanning ... Jesse
Karl Glusman ... Dean
Jena Malone ... Ruby
Bella Heathcote ... Gigi
Abbey Lee ... Sarah
Desmond Harrington ... Jack
Christina Hendricks ... Roberta Hoffmann
Keanu Reeves ... Hank
Charles Baker ... Mikey
Jamie Clayton ... Casting Director
Stacey Danger ... Casting Assistant
Rebecca Dayan ... Dresser
Helen Wilson Helen Wilson ... Seamstress
Houda Shretah Houda Shretah ... Roberto Sarno's Assistant
Taylor Hill ... Flirty Model #1
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Storyline

The sixteen year-old aspiring model Jesse arrives in Los Angeles expecting to be a successful model. The aspirant photographer Dean takes photos for her portfolio and dates her. Jesse befriends the lesbian makeup artist Ruby and then the envious models Gigi and Sarah in a party. Meanwhile, the agency considers Jesse beautiful with a "thing" that makes her different and she is sent to the professional photographer Jack. Jesse attracts the attention of the industry and experiences a successful beginning of her career. Ruby, Gigi and Sarah, however, will do whatever is necessary to get this "thing" for themselves. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Part fairy tale, part bloodbath. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, bloody images, graphic nudity, a scene of aberrant sexuality, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Denmark | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Neon Demon See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$589,014, 26 June 2016

Gross USA:

$1,333,124

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,377,430
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicolas Winding Refn's first film shot in the anamorphic format. See more »

Goofs

When Jesse signs her parental consent form (20:13), she signs with her left hand (ok, maybe she's left handed) and writes from right to left. See more »

Quotes

Roberto Sarno: True beauty is the highest currency we have. Without it, she would be nothing.
Dean: I think you're wrong.
Roberto Sarno: Excuse me?
Dean: I said, I think you're wrong.
Roberto Sarno: So are you gonna tell me that it's what's inside that counts?
Dean: Yeah, that's exactly what I think.
Roberto Sarno: Well I think, that if she wasn't beautiful... you wouldn't have even stopped to look.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical R-rated version and unrated version are different only in the second morgue scene as follows: (A) Female genital nudity is depicted 1 hour 29 minutes and 0 seconds into the film. In the R rated version (which played in US theaters), when Ruby was kissing the corpse (played by a female actress), the bottom of the frame showed the upper half of the vulva (inclusive of somewhat blurred labia, due to the camera focus on the kissing). In the "unrated" version (NOT the theatrical version or the director's narrative - which both emulate the R rated version seen in US theaters), that same moment depicts VERY clear labial exposure (as in medical clarity, yet artistically depicted). (B) Note that the unrated version also shows Ruby's hand brush along the genitalia as it sweeps up to the left breast (R rated version prolongs the cut-away to the Jessie fantasy shot), and also depicts Ruby bouncing on the corpse as she reaches orgasm (while the R rated version shows only the close up of her face). The foley work and soundtrack during the unrated morgue scene are subtly but noticeably different. In short, the unrated cut sounds a lot more "squishy" with ample "smacking" sounds. The uncut version appears to be available through iTunes only, despite being an Amazon production,which you can find here: https://itunes.apple.com/mt/movie/the-neon-demon/id1129719992 (That means if you want to watch it on a TV you'll need an AppleTV to play it). See more »


Soundtracks

Mine
Performed by Sweet Tempest
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User Reviews

 
Not Your Typical Horror Thriller
19 September 2016 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

When aspiring model Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

Although classified as a "horror thriller", this categorization might throw potential viewers off. The horror elements are relatively few and far between, and the thrills are rather subtle. This is not to say the film is in any way a bad picture, simply that it defies conventional categories.

The plot is nothing spectacularly new. In the last few years, we have seen films about the dangers of beauty and fame with Debbie Rochon's "Model Hunger" (which has some coincidental parallels) and "Starry Eyes". But "Neon Demon" is very much about a certain look and atmosphere and not so much about any deep, well-crafted plot or character development.

At almost two hours, the film is paced in a more casual way, and this easily fits into what we call the "slow burn". Those seeking action and excitement will be bored, so please enter with the proper mindset. Instead of action, we are sumptuously provided with a feast of color, neon that can only be compared to "Death Spa" or perhaps "Inherent Vice". This rarity of color is even more striking given that the director claims to be color blind.

The overall tone is weird, or as some have termed it "alien". You can never put your finger on it, but something is off, which (for me) makes it all the more appealing. Today the term "Lynchian" is criminally abused and overused, but it may be apt here: I kept thinking this was a perfect companion for "Mulholland Drive", though I would be hard-pressed to actually explain why.

The music is electronic, occasionally atonal. This is a growing trend that I hope continues to grow. Artists like Diasterpiece ("It Follows") have picked up the mantle left behind by John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream and others. In this case, the music is even more jarring than ever before and really takes on a life of its own.

Elle Fanning is incredible, and she is quickly overshadowing her sister. Perhaps it is not fair to compare the two, but it seems inevitable. Keanu Reeves is very reserved, which is quite refreshing. His name may suggest an "over the top" approach, but that is far from the case here. And special mention must be made of Jena Malone, who is perhaps one of the top actresses in the business today (though her scenes seem to keep getting cut from films). Malone delivers what is likely to be the most disturbing love scene of her career, but given her propensity for strange films, you never know.

Broad Green Pictures is releasing the film on blu-ray on September 27. It is a must-see and probably only gains in power upon repeat viewings. The disc includes an audio commentary with Fanning and the director.


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