Neon Demon is a surprisingly deep movie, considering its shallow premise. The
visuals are easily the most remarkable aspect – the cinematography is
particularly breath-taking – but, thematically, the movie is saying a
surprising amount with considerably little. The director’s previous effort,
Only God Forgives, attempted something similar – using symbolism and visuals to
express character motivations – but was mostly just underwhelming.
comparison, The Neon Demon avoids understating secondary
elements – such as story and character – in favour of pure spectacle. The movie
is stunningly beautiful, but there’s plenty beneath the surface to motivate
continued investment, as well as some wonderfully demented twists permeating a
visual descent into madness. The characters – though deplorable – make a
disturbing amount of sense, sustained by the strength of the performances,
which substantiate the more fantastical elements.