10 Spectacular Movies That Helped Redeem 2016

10. The Neon Demon

Amazon Studios

The 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.

By 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.


Formerly an assistant editor, Richard's interests include detective fiction and Japanese horror movies.