Nightcrawler is a dark and twisted thriller, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed, about a creepy yet driven man searching for success in nighttime LA. Gyllenhaals character Louis Bloom prides himself in being a self-taught man with the motivation to be successful, his motto being, “if you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy a ticket.” Bloom is however lonely and jobless, until one night, after having been denied a job at a local scrap yard by a man to whom Bloom sells stolen metals, he comes across a car crash on the highway. As policemen fight to save a woman’s life by pulling her from the burning vehicle, Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) and his camera crew pull up and begin to film the fiery scene. Intrigued, Lou questions Loder about what he does for a living and how he makes money from filming late night accidents and crimes.
Lou becomes immediately interested by Loder’s line of work and decides to get out into the night and film some crime scenes or horror accidents for himself, only to sell the footage to local news stations in time for their breakfast broadcast.
After struggling to find his feet in the business Lou starts to build a relationship with news broadcaster Nina (Rene Russo), who helps him develop his skills set and improve his overall footage, explaining to him eerily and very fitting to Lou’s personality that the best footage for the news reel resembles a “a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut”. Hiring Rick (Riz Ahmed) as an assistant Lou builds his business up and up, night after night making more and more money out of the suffering and decadence of night-time LA.
Lou becomes possessed by the idea of success and doesn’t let anything stand in his way. Even Joe Loder comes to terms with Lou’s desensitised notion towards morality, when he deliberately sabotages Loder’s van to the point that it crashes, leaving Loder and his colleagues in a critical condition. Lou films the injured men as they are driven away in ambulances, iterating his menacing phrase, “I like to think that if your seeing me, your having the worst day of your life”.
Lou’s persistence and greed end him and Rick up in an extremely dangerous and precarious setting towards the end of the film, climaxing an incredibly slick, creepy and twisted film.
Jake Gyllenhaal captures incredibly well the greasy yet likeable Louis Bloom perfectly, certainly putting him up there with some of the best performances in recent years. Alongside an incredible work of cinematography and script director Dan Gilroy excelles at creating a low budget movie that will certainly take most viewers by surprise, with its sleek, thoughtful and exciting features.
Nightcrawler is definitely worth a watch, maybe even a few times in a row… And definitely deserves more credit and recognition for just how brilliant the entirety of it really is, even if it’s not the X-men side-story many thought it was prior to release!