Nightcrawler is written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Real Steel, The Bourne Legacy) and is his first (and very promising) foray into the world of directing.
The story revolves around Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal – Source Code, Donnie Darko), a petty thief who spots something interesting on his way home from selling off his illegally obtained scrap metal – a “nightcrawler”.
Joe Loder (Bill Paxton – Edge Of Tomorrow, Aliens) is a freelance journalist who turns up to the scene of crimes and accidents, preferably before the authorities arrive and films the victims, then sells the footage to local TV news stations.
Desperate for a job, Louis approaches Joe for work, but after being rebuffed soon makes the decision to get himself some equipment and strike up his own business. Using the proceeds from the sale of a stolen bicycle, he buys a cheap video camera and a police band scanner and away he goes.
After successfully getting close to the action on his first job, he manages to sell the footage to Nina Romina (Rene Russo – Thor, Ransom), the head of news for a local station. From then on, he collects quite a catalogue of work, up to the point where he wishes to expand.
He places an advertisement and manages to con Rick (Riz Ahmed – Four Lions, Closed Circuit) into becoming his intern, working at a dangerous and sometimes illegal job for a pittance.
It isn’t long before Louis’s darker side really begins to emerge, as he realises the leverage he has over the people around him, especially Nina, who he thinks he has over a barrel. He also soon notices that providing there is no-one around to see, the news is far more interesting when tweaked to suit his own needs.
Nightcrawler is extremely well written, with a great script, beautifully and quite terrifyingly acted by Jake Gyllenhaal, who has certainly mastered the art of the gentle yet creepy sociopath. He has obviously lost a large amount of weight for the part, and his gaunt features add extra effect to his already excellent performance.
Louis Bloom is a fascinating character and ideally if rather worryingly suited to his chosen career.
This film is very thought provoking, utterly compelling throughout and leaves you reeling when you get to the end. Great job folks! I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone.
“What if my problem wasn’t that I don’t understand people but that I don’t like them? What if I was the kind of person who was obliged to hurt you for this? I mean physically. I think you’d have to believe afterward, if you could, that agreeing to participate and then backing out at the critical moment was a mistake. Because that’s what I’m telling you, as clearly as I can.”
Nightcrawler is available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray from 2nd March 2015.