Movie trailers are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they are a necessary evil, required to market a project, but rarely able to capture the reality of the material they are previewing. On the other hand, with the right editor, a movie trailer can condense the very essence of a film, while withholding just enough to compel an audience to purchase a ticket for the whole thing. Which camp does the new red band trailer for Nightcrawler fall into? I hope it’s the second – but we won’t find out until October 31st.
Nightcrawler is the directorial debut of writer Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy), and here, he is directing his own material. Characterized as a crime thriller, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom – an ambitious and driven man who falls into the underground world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles. As he descends into a cycle of accidents, killings and violence, he uses his car, camera and police scanner to stay ahead of the game and chase down the misfortunes of others, with a view to sensationalizing and profiting from it.
He certainly sounds like a delightful human being, and this is where the trailer sparks interest. The preview absolutely reinforces all the observations stated in reviews from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival – particularly regarding the performance of lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal. His Louis Bloom is deeply creepy, but with an undeniable layer of charm and affability that is surprising to say the least. This is not a charming actor trying to be creepy – this is an excellent actor doing an impressive job. In addition, the pace seems to be tight and action-packed, the visual style is arresting, and above all, it seems to be darkly, darkly funny.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton, Nightcrawler gets a wide cinema release on October 31st 2014.