Nightcrawler (2014) Director: Dan Gilroy (15)

A formidable directorial debut from Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler laps up the seedy underbelly of LA like Drive or Collateral. Whilst ghastly things happen, the City of Angels at night has never looked more beautiful. We follow oddball Lou (a frightenly good Jake Gyllenhaal) as he struggles to find employment, starting off with petty crime and quickly moving it up a few notches. Lou realises he can make money by filming carnage and crime on his camcorder, selling it off to news channels and specifically morning news director Nina (Rene Russo). This is a job where crime really does pay.
What follows not only questions Lou's ethics, but the ethics of rolling news and us as the viewers. 'If it bleeds, it leads' is one early piece of advice to Lou, whilst Nina pitches the content she wants to him as 'think of our newscast as a screaming woman, running down the street with her throat cut'. Lou gives them what they want with increasing sophistication - he has a real eye for the perfect camera shot - but with verrrryyyy questionable morals. When he starts to tamper with accident and crime scenes for his footage and withholds vital police information, that's where we start getting really uncomfortable. Lou has the story but he wants the ultimate visceral scenes to sell onto the news station.
Although strong throughout, Nightcrawler really delivers in its final act when Lou shows his true colours; as his power grows, he becomes even more terrifying. He's a sociopath and utterly gripping. Both Nina and his assistant Rick (Riz Ahmed) fall foul of his blackmail and demands.
We suspect all along what he's capable of and as it plays out in front of you, it will chill you. It's a shame Gyllenhaal's performance didn't receive a Best Actor nomination at this year's Academy Awards as he truly deserved it. It's a real physical transformation for Gyllenhaal, but Lou will unnerve you right down to the bone. We still feel all squirmy.
4/5 tiny red lights recording you