When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
Lets start off with Gyllenhaal. His character is absolutely chilling from start to finish. You get the sense from the very beginning that there is this dark, and sinister character hiding right beneath the surface at all times, and occasionally we see it burst forward. The things that he does for his recognition and craft are pretty disturbing and grow more and more awful as the movie goes on. It’s also not that far fetched to believe that this kind of character exists in the world right now and is doing all of the things we see Lou doing.
This movie is a fantastic reminder of how good an actor Jake can be when he’s given a great script. He always commits to the roles he plays, but he definitely has suffered at the hands of a bad movie more than once. Fortunately for him, Dan Gilroy (The Fall) has written a pretty solid script here, and even made a dynamite directorial debut. It’s pretty amazing that the same guy also wrote REEL STEEL, and -shudder- FreeJack. Proof that once you can get something going that you’re passionate about, you can produce a hell of a movie.
Like I mentioned, this movie isn’t necessarily a horror movie, but it definitely toes that line between thriller and horror at times. Lou Bloom is such a dark, and bizarre character. Especially one to be the focus of the movie. There are plenty of other dynamite performances in this as well, including a pretty solid little performance from Bill Paxton. It appears that Paxton is better in small doses.
I certainly won’t recommend this one to anyone looking for a traditional horror movie experience, but if you’re looking for some chilling performances, and a pretty overall frightening premise this is probably a really good choice. Not to mention, it’s just an absolutely phenomenal movie from start to finish. Sometimes a movie that feels pretty grounded reality can be deeply horrifying.
Watch this movie. Seriously.
FINAL GRADE: A-