Nicolas Winding Refn Can’t Get Out Of His Own Way: “The Neon Demon” Review

“I believe there’s a 16-year old girl in every man,” Nicolas Winding Refn told Entertainment Weekly of his latest film, The Neon Demon. The auteur also said he was inspired by The Valley of the Dolls, the beauty of his wife, the work he had done on some advertising campaigns and the vision of a 16 year old girl coming to Los Angeles.

Reading through Refn’s interview after watching The Neon Demon, it’s as if his inner 16 year old and hodgepodge of visions leapt straight from the auteur’s subconscious and onto the screen. There’s beauty in every frame of the film, whether we’re staring at Elle Fanning’s face, the gorgeous clothes and makeup or some abstract shot filled with lurid lighting. There’s also horror, gratuitous violence, sex, blood and cannibalism. While it all sounds exciting and looks great, none of it makes much sense by the time the credits start to roll.

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