FILM REVIEW: Night Crawler

Night crawler? Skin crawler more like.

Louis (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a petty criminal, an opportunist and a most disturbing man in anyone’s book, displaying more than his fair share of psychopathic traits.

Having stumbled upon the murky world of late night, sensational journalism, he spends his nights obsessively capturing as much exclusive video footage as he can from Los Angeles’ litany of nightly accidents, homicides and other scenes of misfortune, in order to sell it on to news stations, for a fee.

Cold-heartedly he engineers his way up the ladder of this cut-throat business, looking after number one, displaying a tunnel-vision, showing little or no regard for those affected around him. ‘Empathy for one’s fellow man’ it’s fair to say, does not rate highly in Louis’s list of priorities.

Bit by bit, Louis sinks deeper and deeper into the mire in his quest for success and everything that his very transactional view of the world, desires.

It’s a gripping tale, told brilliantly by director Dan Gilroy, creating at times excruciating levels of tension and all done with some very dark, dark humour.

Gyllenhaal is stupendous and freaky in equal measures, whilst Riz Ahmed, his hapless side-kick and Renee Russo, one of the objects of Louis’s desires, are both excellent in their respective roles. A special mention also for the brilliantly named news anchor, Kent Shocknek, played here by, Kent Shocknek; yes, that really is his name.

Only in America…

Gilroy creates just the right atmosphere throughout, capturing the soullessness of the sprawling Los Angeles suburbs whilst revealing the cut-throat, superficial and deeply immoral nature of ‘shock news’ media.

One of the best things I’ve laid eyes on all year. This shouldn’t be missed.

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