Nightcrawler: A different spin on horror films

After a bland period of time in which Hollywood chugged out similarly themed horror movies left and right, going to the cinemas created the feeling of being given a small variety of movies to watch from. Every featured horror movie followed the same types of generic plots — a serial killer is on the loose, a family documents paranormal occurrences in their house, or an old movie is brought back to life with some sort of plot twist.

Deviate from the horror scene that moviegoers crave when the Halloween season rolls in and satisfy your need for entertainment in a different but similar genre. Take “Nightcrawler,” for example, which was released on Halloween.

It’s a crime thriller in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a thief desperate for work who’s driven to sell himself to the world that is brimming with endless opportunities to promote himself in the business world. However, it isn’t the type of business people generally think of.

After he encounters a camera crew that films crime scenes and then sells the footage to news stations, he discovers the world of crime journalism. Bloom promptly picks up in its trade, quickly establishing a partnership with a news channel and selling his footage to them for thousands of dollars.

It’s his charming charisma and ability to retain and regurgitate knowledge that aids his success in crime journalism. Add his personality into account, which is strikingly familiar to that of “Thor’s” Loki, and it’s no wonder Bloom is able to psychologically subdue the people around him for his own benefit.

Bloom’s blunt and fearless personality makes him tantalizingly intriguing to watch on screen. As he shamelessly films close-ups of people in car accidents and victims of murder, viewers want to hate him for not helping the victims but can’t because he logically backs up every action and decision he makes with facts and statistics.

The movie itself can be seen as a twisted version of the American Dream as it tells the story of a young man who works hard to make something more of himself. However, the twist here is that he does so in a darkly manner, blackmailing when he needs to and having no problem with putting other people’s lives at risk as long as it contributes to his success.

Bloom is an ideal villain — slick, smart and astonishingly capable of bending the events of the world to his need — except most of what he does isn’t necessarily illegal. A truly gripping movie, “Nightcrawler” leaves the audience questioning the way news channels get their coverage and if grisly actions are taken to obtain it.