Warning: The article contains spoilers and addresses disturbing subject manners.
“The Neon Demon” is painful to watch. Not only is it filled with long hypnotic sequences that emphasize the shallow self-importance of the fashion world, it deliberately dwells on some of the most upsetting human practices possible including paedophilia, necrophilia, cannibalism and ritual killings. All of these horrors are presented in an aesthetically pleasing matter and placed in a cool, fashionable context in an apparent attempt to normalize them.
This movie leaves a foul feeling, as if one’s very soul was violated by what was just witnessed. Of course, this kind of result from a “psychological horror movie” is to be expected, but the most disturbing part of this movie isn’t the fiction: It is the dark “real world” truths it appears to celebrate. Indeed, when one knows about the dark side of the entertainment industry – and the occult elite that owns it – the movie becomes a disturbing manifesto, an indulgent celebration from people who revel in darkness. In short, it discloses what the industry is truly about, how it truly functions, and who is truly behind it.
Through the story of a innocent young girl who moves to L.A. with big dreams of being an international supermodel, “The Neon Demon” reveals the true ugly face of the entertainment industry.
Culture of Death
Subjecting oneself to this kind of movie means being exposed to the twisted mindset of those behind it. And right from the start, “The Neon Demon” gives us all eyeful of what the fashion world is about: Celebrating a culture of death while preying on youth and innocence.
This trend is happening in actual fashion shoots. Here is one example of a real photoshoot where the model is basically a “fashionable corpse”.
Preying on Youth
The model in the bloody photoshoot is Jesse, a 16 year-old model who is “new in town”. She meets Ruby, a make-up artist who nonchalantly asks her very specific questions.
– You’ve just got to L.A., Jesse?
– How did you know?
– You’ve got that look. Don’t worry honey. That whole deer-in-the-headlights thing is exactly what they want.
The “deer-in-the-headlights” thing means youth and innocence. “They” prey and feed on it … literally.
After learning about Jesse’s vulnerable situation, Ruby invites her to a party. This is how newcomers get introduced to the claustrophobic social bubble that is the fashion world.
Ruby mentions that lipstick colors tend to sell more when they’re named after food or sex. She then asks Jesse:
– Are you food or are you sex?
This odd question will become extremely relevant later in the movie. Indeed, there are two ways her vital energy can be “consumed”.
The girls then watch a bizarre show that features a tied-up model. At the climax of the show, she is lifted in the air and placed in position that carries important symbolic meaning.
The model’s position is strongly reminiscent to Louise Bourgeois’ Arch of Hysteria.
This particular piece of art and position was shown to be important to the occult elite. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer placed one of his headless victims in that specific position.
Dahmer was a cannibal. “The Neon Demon” also deals with cannibalism. And more. Like abusing minors.
At one point, the motel owner tells Jesse’s friend to check out a girl at his motel.
“Take a peek in room 214 if you get a chance. Runaway. Thirteen years old. Real lolita sh*t. Room 214. Gotta be seen.”
Through these various scenes, we understand that Jesse has entered a messed up world that is looking to consume her.
Entering the Industry
Jesse is soon recruited by a fashion agency that promises her to work with “all of the big designers”, which will lead her to”international success”. When Jesse admits that she’s only 16 years old and that she did not graduate from high school, she is told to tell people that she’s 19.
Nobody cares that she is a minor. In fact, her youth gives her that “something” that the industry desperately preys on. Youth is not only used to sell copies of magazines, it is exploited on a deeper level. Primitive civilizations used to sacrifice young virgins to the gods because they were believed to have the most “magical potency”. This concept is still alive today. People with great wealth, power, and influence believe in these occult concepts that most think to be outdated. “The Neon Demon” addresses these things in a thinly veiled matter.
When Jesse goes to her first photoshoot with a “big” photographer, things get weird.
When the photographer sees Jesse with her golden stickers, he appears taken with her. He tells everybody present to leave the room. He then orders Jesse to take off all of her clothes. She’s still 16.
Jesse’s “It” factor leads her to star at a fashion show. This show begins normally but soon turns into a long, hypnotic, occult ritual that appears to profoundly transform Jesse. As Jesse walks down the runway, an alternate scene simultaneously takes place in a “higher” dimension. The fashion show is Jesse’s initiation to the industry, where she discovers her new alter persona.
After the show, a new, sexy, non-innocent Jesse is born.
Under the Eye All-Seeing Eye
As Jesse progresses into the fashion world, we are subtly introduced to the dark occult world that rules it. We are also heavily introduced to the symbol that represents it: the ubiquitous All-Seeing Eye. In the movie, the all-seeing eye, aka the eye in the sky, is associated with the moon.
“When I was a kid, I would sneak out the roof at night. I thought the moon looked like a big round eye. And I would look up and say: Do you see me?”
Jesse wanted to be noticed by the entertainment industry. She wanted the “big round eye” to see her. Well, it saw her. She got initiated into the industry.
When things get dangerous at her motel, Jesse is invited to stay at Ruby’s house … and things get even weirder. The deer-in-the-headlights is now trapped inside an elite home, and the predators are circling in.
When Jesse pushes her away, Ruby becomes mad. If Jesse cannot be sex, she will be food (you remember the quote above?). But first, Ruby has to do something real quick.
In the next scene, we see Ruby at her second job in a mortuary home where she does makeup on corpses. When she receives the body of a young woman, Ruby becomes very excited.
While this disturbing scene is happening, another scene is juxtaposed to it.
This annoying bit is dragged on for a long time. As Ruby gets excited and moaning sounds intensify, we realize that the movie makers are actually trying hard to make this scene arousing to the viewers. It’s like, they’re really into that stuff and they want us to be into it as well.
After this unnecessary scene, Jesse dresses up for no apparent reason. She becomes the sacrificial lamb.
When Jesse goes outside, Ruby and her two model friends go after her and kill her.
Ruby and her friends do not simply kill Jesse … they consume her. Literally.
After this nauseating scene, we see Ruby partaking in a strange ritual under a full moon – the “big round eye”. She is demonstrating servitude to the the All-Seeing Eye.
Meanwhile, the two other models who consumed Jesse are featured in a high-profile photoshoot. Apparently, eating Jesse imparted them the “It” factor that makes them desirable by the industry again. However, during the photoshoot, one of the models feels sick.
What does she do with the eyeball? Guess.
Then, with a completely vacant look on her face, the model goes back to the fashion shoot.
After watching “The Neon Demon”, it is not surprising to learn that it failed at the box office. It is an indulgent, self-aggrandizing, promotional piece by the industry and for the industry.