I’m really surprised The Neon Demon didn’t get better reviews. The story is cool. The actresses are beautiful. The visuals are striking. And the soundtrack is, in my opinion, the best of the new synth horror musical efforts.
I kept waiting for it to become a full on horror movie, but it basically stayed in the psych/thriller lane. Nothing overtly supernatural happens, yet there is a strangeness to the universe the characters inhabit that could be darkly magical.
I’m not sure if these new school horror movies are in a genre with a name, but I’ve been calling them Synth Horror. Movies like It Follows and The Neon Demon seem to have a few commonalities: ethereal lead actresses, cool electro soundtracks, overt symmetry, obfuscated temporality, auteur directors, tighter budgets.
It seems like gore fans and classic horror loyalists aren’t quite as into them as they are the slightly passé French Extremity films. Maybe it’s because they lean so heavily on music video sensibilities and millenial malaise.
Anyway, I really loved The Neon Demon, but don’t come crying to me of you watch it and aren’t into it. It’s an odd one.