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‘The Neon Demon’ is ‘Valley of The Dolls’ Meets ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ Says Cliff Martinez

Written by on February 22, 2016 

The Neon Demon

With films from Kenneth Lonergan, Todd Solondz, Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch and Terry Gilliam either released, acquired, or in the works, the newly launched Amazon Studios added the latest film from Drive and Only God Forgives director Nicolas Winding Refn last year. Ahead of a summer theatrical release, we imagine The Neon Demon will stop by Cannes, and today we have new details.

Starring Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, and Bela Heathcoate, we’ve known it follows an aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles where her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will go to any lengths to get what she has. Now, in a recent interview with composer Cliff Martinez, he’s discussed his process when it comes to this score, and more.

“I think Neon Demon had some similarities to Drive,” he tells Thump, saying “it’s kind of a sparse electronic score.” Noting that the score “is almost all synthesizer,” he adds, “there’s a lot of places where the music is really pushed out more into the spotlight, even more than Drive. I think I got a bigger part in the film, it’s flattering.”

Segueing from the score to the actual film, he says, “We describe the first half as a melodrama like Valley of The Dolls, and the second half is like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It doesn’t seem to be a traditional horror film to me, but horror is the genre that it’s closest to.” Speaking more about the different tones, he continues, “The first half of the film was kind of romantic so there’s a lot of romantic music. But then there’s some cold-blooded horror stuff too and I think could be really creepy.”

Simply based on the synopsis, one can see the comparisons to both films — one which has become a cult favorite in some circles and the other a horror classic — so it’ll be intriguing to see their influences, and particularly how Refn handles something close to the horror genre. In the meantime, check out the trailers for both below as we await more news on The Neon Demon.

The Neon Demon will be released this summer.


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