Cliff Martinez Expertly Conveys Refn’s Inner ‘Neon Demon’


In a stylized, oft-poetic way, Demon portrays the competitive grind and sheer artifice of the modelling world, and probably Los Angeles as a whole to an extent.  The emotions are intense and massive, even in the most sedated scenes. Martinez does an excellent job of using throbbing synthesizers, scattered guitar expressions, pulsating drum machines, and ambient textures to convey this.

However, this time around Martinez works less like a counterpoint to Refn than he has in the past, when he would have tempered ostentatious visuals that seemed to call for compositions as equally stylized. (Think of Drive – the infamous elevator scene has a delicate and crystalline ambient love theme that counters the crunch of violence between The Driver and a would-be assailant.) While Demon certainly has shades of this, more than ever in their three-picture-run-so-far Martinez plays the role of amplifying Refn’s bombast.

Read the full review by Aaron Vehlinggo at