The Horror Honeys: This Nightcrawler is No Mutant...

This Nightcrawler is No Mutant...

A Supernatural Honey New Release Review by Suzanne

Nightcrawler (2014)

I’ve had a lot of opportunities to see movies in advance of their release the last few months: some of them good, some bad, and others downright horrible. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was walking into with Nightcrawler. The trailers made it seem as though it was a genre film, but it’s SO much more than that. This film is a drama, wrapped in psychological thriller, dipped in action, with a dash of comedy and I was happily full after consuming every morsel of it. It was delicious! 

OK, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a petty thief always on the lookout for his next payday. Driven and determined to be successful at something, he discovers that crime journalism in L.A. can land a nice payday, with the right piece of film. Aided and encouraged by local TV news programmer Nina Romina (Rene Russo), Lou tests the limits of his morality to come out on top.

Louis is socially awkward and tries desperately to sell himself to anyone who will give him a minute to listen. He spends the majority of his time reading up on his interests and seems to have something of a photographic memory as he quotes his many sources. When he latches on to Nightcrawling, he learns everything he can about cameras and video, and memorizes police codes. This is a cutthroat business though and Lou will do anything to be successful, from blackmail to sabotage, even putting him and others in harm’s way, and he does it all without batting an eye. He’s morally reprehensible.

There are three people that stand in the way of Lou’s success. Nina (Russo), who he takes a “special” interest in, is both repulsed and attracted to his brazen demands.  Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) is the guy who initially peaks Lou’s interest in Nightcrawling, but ends up as fierce competition. Lastly is Lou’s employee, Richard, played exceptionally well by relative newcomer Riz Ahmed. Rick is desperate for a job, but has no idea what he’s gotten himself into until it’s too late. His confrontation of Lou turns out to be very telling as to Lou’s true nature. 

So now I will fully admit two things; the first is I am NOT a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. I don’t get the appeal from a physical or acting perspective. The second is my opinion is much different after watching this film. He’s brilliant. Apparently, he lost 20 pounds for the role, which accentuated his already strange features. He looked haunted and void of emotion, but utterly honest and intense.
At just about two hours, it doesn’t feel that long. This film moves as fast as Lou drives, which is pretty damn fast. There were moments when I was literally gripping the armrests of my seat, particularly during the climax. The backdrop of Los Angeles gives the film a gritty, urban feel and is itself, a character. 

I do have one major gripe about the story. There is a HUGE plot hole that makes the end of the movie completely ridiculous. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but if you watch a lot of CSI or Law & Order, you’ll pick up on it immediately. There are also timeline issues, but those are minimal and don’t take away from the overall flow.

That said this is a film worth paying attention to. If Gyllenhaal isn’t nominated for an Oscar, I’d be truly surprised.

Supernatural Honey Rating ~ 3.5 ambulance chasers out of 5

This face needs an Oscar.