Spinster Screening: The Neon Demon
So, I love Elle Fanning. I think she's positively resplendent. That's why, when I saw advertisements for her most recent movie, The Neon Demon, I was intrigued. The previews didn't show much about the plot. It just looked like some kind of long fashion film. Now that I think of it, that's basically what it was. Below there are going to be some spoilers, so if you don't want that, then don't read any further.
The movie starts out with an innocent 16-year-old Elle Fanning. She's come to Los Angeles to become a model, and she apparently doesn't have any family. She stays in a roach motel where Keanu Reeves is the lecherous rapist of a manager. The overall vibe is just straight up creepy.
After the first photoshoot of the movie, Elle Fanning's Character, Jessie, meets a makeup artist who takes her under her wing. With the makeup artist, Jessie meets two other models who are older and much more jaded.
Jessie beats one of these models out for a part in a runway show. At the runway show, Jessie's chosen to close the show (this is the most important spot for a model in a runway show). The weird thing is that they don't actually show the runway show. There's this weird montage of Elle Fanning's face inside a mirrored triangle. Then, there's a really long shot of this neon triangle which...is...the demon? I'm not even sure.
This is the turning point of the story for Jessie, and she starts thinking she's a huge deal and being mean to people. After the show and some drinks with the designer and some models, she goes back to the motel and lays on her bed. Then Keanu Reeves tries to get into her room and when he can't he attacks the girl next door.
Jessie calls the makeup artist and goest to her house...which she is...house sitting? That was a really weird moment in the movie. She said she was house sitting as if she wasn't really house sitting. I still don't know what the deal was there. But the makeup artist tries to force herself on Jessie, and Jessie pushes her away.
Then...there is a scene I don't want to talk about because...ew. The makeup artist works in a mortuary, though, so...
When Jessie wakes up, she does her makeup with lots of glitter one only one eye. (Again, no idea). She puts on this dress that's laying on a bed (but not in the bedroom she was staying in, so that was sort of confusing. Like, why was this dress laying in a random room, and why was she in that room?)
The next thing you know, Jessie's being chased with knives by the makeup artist and the two other models. They push her into an empty pool, and it appears that she dies. Then there's this weird scene of the makeup artist lying under the moon and bleeding. Is she dead? What's going on there? I don't know. It was never explained.
Then we see the two models at a photoshoot, but one of them is just watching. They're talking bout people who have beat them out of jobs, and a third model asks what one of the models did when someone beat her out of a job. And then she says "I ate her." So...I guess they ate Jessie after she fell in the pool? WHAT!?
Then, during the shoot, the other model from killing Jessie starts to feel sick. She runs off the shoot and THROWS UP AN EYEBALL. Then she kills herself with scissors. Then the other model EATS THE EYEBALL.
You guys. I can't. I can't even. I don't even know what happened there. Like, did I see this movie, or was it just a terrible dream? It made about as much sense as a really bad dream.
In short, I don't really recommend this movie. At least, don't go see it in the theater. I'm still processing. I wish I could get that two hours of my life back.