The Neon Demon


Y’all. What the fuck. Hi, I hated this movie. Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a man had carte blanche to create his idea of what he thinks women are and also wanted to make something he could masturbate to for the rest of his life? No? Because it’s been done so many times before and is most cinema? Fuck me? Ok.

This fucking movie. Basic plot: a nubile ingenue moves to big city to become a model. Men are enchanted, as are other women who want to fuck her but also murder her because of jealousy!! (You know how women are with their psychosexual murderous tendencies). There’s a bunch of glittery low lit surreal violence because art, and a couple poorly written monologues about “beauty.” Jessie, the girl, (Elle Fanning) goes to one casting call where some fashion gatekeeper (Christina Hendricks) tells her she’s going to be the next big thing and sends her to meet some photographer that everyone cares about. He borderline sexually assaults her (classic will they/won’t they chemistry!!!) but she’s cool with it because it’s advancing her “career!” The makeup artist, Jena Malone, (revamping her role as the “acclimated insider who shows hot new girl the ropes” from Sucker Punch) has offered to be her friend but she also participated in a public bathroom shaming incident so what even is friendship?

Two other models are REALLY jealous of Jessie (because they’re 21 and basically dead already) and they antagonize her throughout. There’s some surreal shit that they throw into the movie to separate it from a Sia music video, like a mountain lion getting into Jessie’s motel room, and her making out with herself inside a giant crystal.

There’s also a boy who likes Jessie for ‘who she is’ and keeps encouraging her to look inside herself/insisting that she has other talents even though she’s like, “I’m just pretty.”

Side note: I really wanted her to look him in the eye and say, “No, I’m just pretty and that’s fine. You’re just projecting these other things onto me because then it’s easier for you to convince yourself you like me for an actual reason and aren’t just shallow.” But alas. 

Then more stuff happens, until Jessie has a dream that her motel landlord (Keanu Reeves???????) put a knife in her mouth, then she wakes up and someone is trying to get in so she locks the door more, then hears someone murdering the thirteen year old runaway girl in the room next to her who Keanu has described virulently as “VERY Lolita-esque.” So she calls Jena Malone and goes over to her huge beautiful mansion house where Jena is like, “You were almost murdered? That’s so scary, let me brush your hair and try to have sex with you” and Jessie pushes her off. Then Jena (who is also a makeup artist at a morgue) draws a face with X’s for eyes and mouth in lipstick on a mirror.

Then the two models who have been awful the whole time start to chase her with knives until they corner her by an emptied pool (that earlier she stood on a diving board giving a monologue over) and then Jena comes up and pushes her in. The next day Jena waters the flowers, then reads a book in a shallow grave.

Then we follow the two girls as they go on a photo shoot and one of the younger models there is laughing about her friend who is old and not getting jobs. She then asks one of the models, “has a girl ever beaten you out for a job?” and when she says yes the girl asks, “What did you do?” and she replies, “I ate her.” Forgot to mention: earlier at a casting when Jessie got the job and the other girl didn’t she threw a huge blunt object into the bathroom mirror and it shattered all over the floor. Jessie came in to see what all the fuss was and found said girl upset. She seemed to try to comfort her then the girl kind of lunged at her and Jessie cut her hand pretty deep on mirror glass. Then the girl took her hand and started to look at it but just drank her blood for a while until Jessie ran out. Women am I right??? Always drinking each other’s blood!!

Back at the shoot- they are dressed up and in the sunlight and by a different pool when one of the girls starts feeling nauseous. She finally runs inside where she keeps dry heaving. When the other model/her friend comes to check on her, she vomits up an eyeball on the carpet, then says, “I have to get her out of me” and stabs herself in the stomach with a pair of scissors. The other model takes off her sunglasses (they have been on the whole time) and leans over and eats the eyeball.

Then I don’t even remember what happened after that even though I watched it approximately 15 minutes ago. To be honest I was ready for this movie to be over the second it started. The first shot of the whole movie is Jessie sprawled backwards on a couch with her makeup done and her throat slit. Then she’s gone and reappears at a makeup table wiping the blood off her chest and you see that it was for a shoot. Which just-ughhh. It scares me how much I would have liked this movie in high school. There’s this idea that coupling beauty and violence is edgy in some way but it’s so boring and tired. Also I think it should be illegal for men to write female characters.

Oh I remember what happens at the end. So after Jena Malone has sex with a corpse at her job, she wakes up in a bathtub covered in blood and her friends the two models are also covered in blood and are sensually taking a shower together and washing the blood off each other in a sexy way. Then I think it just ends? Idk my eyes were bleeding.

Other things: the makeup in this movie was great. Is a neck fetish a thing? If so that’s in here a lot. Umm I hated it? Is that a note?

This movie was so devoid of artistic value to me it’s hard to even know where to begin. All the women depicted were hollow shells of real people, obsessed with beauty and willing to do anything even kill each other to get approval in a male dominated world? The only character development we get from Jessie is that her parents are dead and that she thinks she’s pretty.

Instead of watching this movie I recommend you get the DVD, go to the “Scene Selections” menu option, appreciate the stills for the art that they are, then take it out and throw it in the trash.

Three out of ten blood-stained swimming pools, would NOT masturbate again.

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