Happy Halloween! For those that have been keeping up, thanks for reading my 31 Days of Horror posts — for today’s, the very last post, I want to talk about a movie that’s a little different from the rest. This one is a pseudo-horror film that leans more towards being a thriller, depending on your experience as a viewer. For me, its tense atmosphere and stomach-turning shock factor make it the perfect addition for this countdown.
NIGHTCRAWLER (31 October 2014)
Dir. and Screenplay Dan Gilroy | Starring Jake Gyllenhaal
Los Angeles denizen Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) survives by scavenging and petty theft. He stumbles into a new career as a cameraman and — armed with a camcorder and police scanner — begins nocturnal forays across the city in search of shocking and grisly crimes. When he catches the eye of a shopworn news director (Rene Russo) who welcomes the chance to raise her station’s ratings, Louis goes to increasingly greater lengths to catch the “money shot.”
It’s no secret that I believe Jake Gyllenhaal should have earned an Oscar for Best Actor a number of times already. His unnerving and, honestly, highly disturbing performance in Nightcrawler is definitely at the top of that should-have-been-nominated list. His portrayal of antihero Louis Bloom is essentially what gives the film its dark, creepy atmosphere, rather than the setting. The screenplay, too, should not be ignored as it has a heavy hand in how effective Nightcrawler is at stealing into our subconsciousness and basically repulsing us from what we see on-screen. Gilroy was beat out for Best Screenplay by Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Innocence) at the 2015 Oscars along with another strong contender, the Foxcatcher screenplay. Nightcrawler has to this day earned high praise from both critics and audiences and is number one on my list of movies to recommend, for those who have yet to see it.