Nicholas Winding Refn’s fable-like dissection of the feminine beauty standard is a truly odd duck. Visually gorgeous, and cold as ice, this story of a young model’s attempts to make it in Los Angeles often zags when you expect it to zig, and takes a sharp left turn into the allegorical in its final act. It’s not exactly horror and it’s not exactly a thriller, rather an intriguing objet d’art that sprawls all over the line between good taste and exploitation. Refn’s done interesting genre pastiches before, with his Drive being heavily indebted to Walter Hill, and Neon Demon definitely owes a significant debt to both David Lynch and Dario Argento, but it nevertheless stands on its own as a bizarre but fascinating curio.
3 out of 4 stars (Very good).