Nightcrawler – Review

The directorial debut of writer Dan Gilroy, there’s a distinct air of “Urban Cronenberg” to Nightcrawler that – when coupled with a fearless central performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and an alluring “video nasty” aesthetic – cement the first-time helmer’s efforts as a 2014 companion piece to the likes of American Psycho and Taxi Driver.

Gyllenhaal takes centre stage as Lou Bloom, an offbeat and deranged thief who finds his calling one night after discovering the field of tabloid field-journalism. Quickly fashioning his own video-journalism outfit, Bloom sets out into the LA night; where death and human misery become his currency, and the only value is how up close and possible he can tread.

Easily Gyllenhaal’s finest performance since Mendes’s Jarhead almost a decade ago, his Lou Bloom is a work of depraved perfection. Not quite normal, yet not quite a psycho; he’s positively unhinged, a sanity void the ever-evolving actor dissolves himself into with staggering confidence. Solid support from the likes of Rene Russo and Mad Men’s Kevin Rahm level proceedings out nicely, with each presenting clear contrast and the investment of a real world against which to present Gyllenhaal’s monster in all his splendour.

A stellar debut from Gilroy and a crowning role for its lead, Nightcrawler is a dark and sinister gem of a film that commands your attention, will satisfy your darker fascinations and will horrify you to your core.

Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.

In it
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Kevin Rahm
Behind it
Dan Gilroy

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