There was never even the remotest chance that I was not going to see this. This visually lush nearly psychedelic story goes for something different.
I have given up the quest to find the perfect movie, but I cannot descend into nitpicking either. So, where does that leave me?
This is a strange story style applied to a familiar topic: models chewed up by the system, the worship of beauty, image over substance, etc. The Los Angeles grind.
At least three what-the-fuck moments stand out, and a number of other over-the-top artsy pretentious shots, places where you see what they’re doing but are stuck as the music and stroboscopic lights play out their little puppet show.
The good news is that it’s actually about something, a rarity these days, and not formulaic. I only wish some of the characters weren’t so extreme in an unmotivated, manipulative way. The director’s puppeteering shows, no matter how many lens flares, neon lights, and banks of fog he applies.
In some ways I feel about Neon Demon the way I felt about The Witch, a similar horror story done non-traditionally and featuring a beautiful young ingenue. These have potential, but something feels off. Call it tone, consistency, disunity–something, anyway. See if you agree.