THE NEON DEMON is full of bizarre and interesting images. What do all the different colors symbolize? What does the leopard in the motel room signify? And, there is a fair share of foreshadowing dialog it seems? There's no way I can cover everything without rambling on and on about this or that, so I promise to keep this nice and neat.
This post was meant for last year but I wanted to watch THE NEON DEMON several times so I could better prepare an analysis. I listened to the director's commentary during certain scenes to see if my theories were correct about what meant what. It turns out that most of what I thought was deep and full of meaning was just stuff the director thought was cool. A common trait from filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn.
So because of this, THE NEON DEMON dropped below my Top 10 Favorites of 2016.
From here on out there's going to be heavy spoilers, so if you haven't seen the film yet come back after you have.
The IMDB synopsis for THE NEON DEMON reads as follows, "When aspiring model Jesse 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".
After reading that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who or what the Neon Demon is. The easiest answer is that it's narcissism. That the world of modeling if not careful can turn you into a "neon demon".
Our main character is Jesse, a young beautiful woman who has moved to L.A. for a shot at stardom in the modeling world. She is a natural. Young, pretty, and innocent. Jesse has everything the other seasoned models want. Very quickly Jesse becomes friends with Ruby who is a makeup artist. They go to a party and meet up with two other models.
Getting dolled up in the restroom, the girls have a lurid discussion on lipstick. Ruby explains that colors of lipstick are named after food and sex. An example would be Pink Passion, you get the idea. During this conversation Jesse gets asked if she is food or sex? Something to think about.
After a few more photo shoots Jesse gets noticed more and more and eventually lands a big fashion runway show. The more she gets noticed the more dangerous things get for her. This is where the director takes omens to a fetish like extreme. The color red and blue are predominant in THE NEON DEMON. For the sake of the plot it's safe to say that the color red signifies danger, and blue seems to mean narcissism (I think).
At one point a leopard appears is Jesse's motel room, a bad omen for sure.
After loosing a spot on the fashion show one of the models attacks Jesse in a vampire like way. Classic Refn!
I won't ruin the ending but the question posed to Jesse at the beginning of the film, is she food or sex, is asked again in a sort of allegorical conclusion.
THE NEON DEMON is probably pretentious artful trash, but I love it! The "neon demon" scene is worth the price of admission.
Watching the movie I learned something about myself and our society. We're too consumed with the objectification of beauty and women. It's a bad habit that will be hard to break.
In conclusion, I highly recommend THE NEON DEMON because I loved it. Now a disclaimer; this film IS NOT for everyone, viewer discretion is advised. For content and because it's an art house horror film (Heh)!