Denmark's Refn targets teens with cannibal horror film

Sat May 21, 2016 12:45pm EDT
 
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By Julien Pretot

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Some critics stood up and booed at cannibalistic horror movie "The Neon Demon" when it screened at Cannes Film Festival this week, but they weren't its target audience, said Danish director Winding Refn.

The 45-year-old, known for his 2011 breakthrough hit "Drive, says he has made a teenager's movie, one that does not belong in the adult world of good taste and morality.

"Teenagers love graphic, they love counter-culture ... they love anti-establishment and I made a movie about a 16-year-old girl who probably knows more about what a teenager wants than you and I," he told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

The film tells the story of aspiring model Jesse, played by teenage actor Elle Fanning, arriving in Los Angeles where she quickly become a designer's muse, an object of desire and jealousy.

Its scenes of lesbian necrophilia, blood and cannibalism have won it outrage and headlines, helped by the presence of mainstream Hollywood star Keanu Reeves as motel owner Hank.

"We didn't make a movie for the parents. We made a movie for the teenagers because they're the ones who are interesting," Rehn said.

"The more extreme art is, the more interesting it becomes. We don't make films because we're nice and want to do good or bad for that matter. We want to experience," he added.

The Neon Demon, given a 15 rating by the British Board of Film Classification, is due out next month in many markets.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 
Director Nicolas Winding Refn (C) and his wife Liv Corfixen (L) and cast member Elle Fanning arrive on the red carpet ahead of the screening for the film "The Neon Demon" in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau