Demonlover ★★★★½

Early 21st-century life with data overload, broadband velocity, and point-and-click initiations that expedite even faster connections between person to person, prioritizing virtual over physical interactions, that as a result creates an outlet for voracious internet scavengers to live off the deep, dark web. It’s a phantasmagoric vision of filth, of sex and voyeuristic violence, power, and greed cultivated to oblige the desensitized, over-consumption mass in an ever-moving, irreversibly globalized environment where brand new forms of media serve as lubricants for their users’ perverted fantasies. Demonlover is a diptych painting of two halves – an odd yet totally fluid-like amalgamation of leering cyber-spy thriller and scratchy Lynchian dream-lore, with a narrative disjoint akin to the fissure that divides Mulholland Drive into two. Although Assayas tries to marry the slickness of the movie’s surface to its inherently repellant qualities, his presentation remains barely comprehensible but it’s the perplexing traits in his abandonment of storytelling logic that turn this into a strange beast with a coded language of its own. This corporate Cyberpunk junkware still and will forever remain indecipherable; its rapid procession of non-sequiturs unspooled; parts and pieces that don’t add up and are left out in the open as viewers will have to draw their own cogent solution based on these ephemeral scraps. But why bother? It is all just part of a game. Think of the fleshy Videodrome, but now evolved and pixelated.

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