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‘The Neon Demon’ First Reactions: Walkouts, Yelling at the Screen and a Five-Star Review in Cannes

'The Neon Demon' First Reactions: Walkouts, Yelling at the Screen and a Five-Star Review in Cannes

If you’re at all familiar with Nicolas Winding Refn, you’ve surely realized by now that the “Drive” director tends to provoke, shall we say, strong reactions. “I’m a pornographer and I make films about what excites me” is how the Danish auteur described his working methods during a festival screening of his previous film, “Only God Forgives;” if initial responses to “The Neon Demon” are to believed, Refn has once again set the Cannes Film Festival aflutter. Indiewire’s own Eric Kohn gives it a B-, saying that the film is “not the deepest form of exploitation cinema, but it’s reaching for something.”

READ MORE: Cannes Review: ‘The Neon Demon’ is a Twisted Ride of Sex, Blood, and Necrophilia

Kino-Zeit’s Beatrice Behn doesn’t hold back, calling Refn’s latest an “absurd jerk-off lolita fantasy in a slow-motion sparkly neon dress with a side order of 90s music video aesthetics,” while Screen Daily’s Tim Grierson is a bit more reserved in his description: “Horror-satire about beauty as power source, precious gem, root of all evil. Best not to take too seriously.” In an early review (of which more to come), however, Little White Lies gave the film five stars. Here are some other standout reactions:

READ MORE: ‘The Neon Demon’: Nicolas Winding Refn Reveals Why His Vampire Model Movie Is Autobiographical

Apparently there’s also necrophilia, in case you were worried that Refn had toned down his sensibility.

For more, watch the trailer:


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