elle fanning and abbey lee are murderous models in the neon demon trailer

In their new movie Elle and Abbey are showing the very dark side of the model life.

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15 April 2016, 9:12am

You could argue that Elle Fanning and Abbey Lee are both in periods of professional transition. Thanks to recent roles in Trumbo and About Ray Elle is making sure the world realises she's (almost) all grown up. For Abby, her turns in Mad Max: Fury Road and Ruben Guthrie have allowed her to comfortably clear the tricky hurdle of model-turned-actress. But in case you had any lingering doubts about the cinematic strength of either, check out the The Neon Demon trailer. 

In the film -- directed by Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn -- Elle plays a baby model who is transformed by the chaotic fashion world. After moving to LA, her character Jesse finds herself surrounded by beauty-obsessed women dying for a face like hers. But this is no cautionary tale about young women being prayed upon, rather it's a warning to those who take advantage of them. Elle's character emerges from the fashion landscape as a monster of sorts purring to the audience, "You know what my mother used to call me? Dangerous."

From the recently released trailer, it seems reminiscent of Teeth, another film that explored the dangers of underestimated women, or a runway version of Black Swan -- but with (slightly) more comfortable shoes.

Nicolas has been toying with the idea for a while, in 2014 he told Variety, "One morning I woke and realised I was both surrounded and dominated by women. Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty." Nicholas' wife Liv Corfixen -- herself an actress and filmmaker -- has mused that the film also draws inspiration from Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed; a 16th century countess who is now remembered as one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Her lust youth and beauty, and habit of bathing in the blood of young virgins, was one of the inspirations for Dracula.

Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Jena Malone, and Bella Heathcote round out the very attractive cast. The film will premier at Cannes next month.