★★★★ Irish Independent ★★★★ The Irish Times
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The emptiness of the fashion world is viciously satirised in Nicolas Winding Refn’s visually striking, unclassifiable The Neon Demon. New girl Jesse
(Elle Fanning) is turning heads at a Hollywood modelling agency; groomed for stardom by her agent Christina Hendricks, she has that indefinable star quality the other girls all crave.
Refn follows up Drive (2011),
a crossover hit, and the gloriously operatic and hugely underrated Only God Forgives (2013) with what is, in essence, a horror film in the mode of Italian giallo master Dario Argento, but this reductive reading does a disservice to the distinctive mood and tone of the film. As poised and over-deliberate as we might expect from Refn, The Neon Demon is an exercise in misdirection, the icily mesmeric, yet quite familiar first hour giving way to something altogether more outlandish in the last act. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)
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