How to write an article about this masterpiece without showing the Demon 😉
I watched this movie out of curiosity without knowing it was made by Nicolas Winding Refn, I was looking for an original horror movie and it seemed good to me. So, I was really guided by the movie and discovered the story without any expectation.
I have to admit I was fascinating by this movie. The way it was shot, the esthetic (not because of the models) with the color contrast and the use of light, the characters who are always quite borderline, and of course the dramatic turn of events at the end.
This movie is quite slow, it is a Winding Refn movie, so you will follow the characters at their pace, not the pace of the script. But I like slow movies, I love Blade Runner!
The first part is about the modeling industry, but the atmosphere is always tense, so it is not boring, you are always trying to find something in the characters that the movie doesn’t show you, you feel uncomfortable.
This feeling is caused by the fact you are following the life of Jesse (Elle Fanning), a teenager (17) who wants to become a model in Los Angeles, the city of vice. So you are as weak as her, lost in this huge metropolis full of strange people, especially in the art sector where she is working.
You then watch the jealousy growing and growing around her in the heart of the other models, then everyone.
There is something cannibalistic in this movie, and not only at the end of the movie! From the start, everyone wants her, wants to feel and touch her, or even be her, and at the end…
She made totally crazy those close to her, despite herself, without never noticing the danger.
This movie is hard to watch at the end, you can’t guess what will happen. But it’s worth it.
The brutality of the end is accentuated because all the main characters are women models or artists, so, you don’t really expect what you are seeing from such people.
What about the make-up artist, quite nice and pretty for the most part of the movie, who become a real psychopath near the end, and we see her naked, ugly, like who she is in her soul.
Winding Refn uses esthetic tricks to underline the story and lead us. The colors go to the blue to the red, the appearance of the make-up artist evolves. It makes the plot stronger and more nerve-racking.
The scenario is amazing, as well as the shooting and the editing. It is an odd movie, I admit it, less accessible than Drive which was not a very mainstream movie.
But it tells us something about humanity and its innate madness and malice. It also shows us the cruelty and brutality of LA and of the modelling industry. Both are the Hell for nice, naive and natural gifted persons.
We see how a common story, a girl who wants to live her life in a huge city full of potential, can degenerate in a way you can’t anticipate. It also shows us how a nice person can be sacrified by a wolf-pack, because they all share a common interest against her, even if they hate each other.
A gifted person can disturb the balance less doted or skilled people have created, so they may want to eliminate the threat to keep their lives as they were.
We also can see a sacrifice, the sacrifice of a virgin woman to benefit from her talents. It brings us back to the tribal traditions shared by humans for millenias.
So, this movie is extreme, and we all know how hard it is to change the rules of a family, an organization, or worse, of a country, because people always want to keep living with the same rules.
Nicolas Winding Refn is a great scriptwriter and film-maker, and I hope a lot of other excellent movies like The Neon Demon will be released in the future.
If you watched it, leave a reply to share your thought 😉
A quick rule to handle cannibalism, you know, maybe your players will end their travel in a desert, or will want to eat someone to absorb his power.
Because cannibalism is not something easy to deal with, there are some risks when you eat someone else, especially if it is your comrade.
If you want to let your players decide if their character is ready to this, no roll is needed. If you want to know if their player can endure this, they do a Spirit roll at 4 for an unknown, at 6 for a comrade. With a fail, their character prefer to die of starvation rather than eating human flesh.
A cannibalistic feast is followed by a Spirit and a Vigor roll at 4.
With a failed on the Spirit roll, the character can’t bear what he did, the player has to roll a d6.
1: The character becomes crazy and is no longer playable. If he can, he commits suicide.
2-3-4: The character diminished is Spirit value, from d6 to d4 for example. If he is already at d4, he becomes crazy and is no longer playable. If he can, he commits suicide.
5-6: The character is only stunned for the rest of the day.
With a failed on the Vigor roll, the character can’t digest the human flesh, the player has to roll a d6.
1: The character suffers an anaphylactic shock, his body convulsing on the ground for 4 rounds before he dies.
2-3-4: The stomach of the character really can’t digest, he vomits for the next 24 hours and add one fatigue point for vomiting, and one for dehydration.
5-6: The character is stunned for the rest of the day
If a character is psychologically and physically stunned, he suffers a penalty of -2 for all his rolls.
Leave me a reply about the cannibal moment in your game 😉