Nightcrawler (Now on DVD) is neither a suspense movie nor a crime movie, although it contains strong elements of each. Rather, the movie is a disturbing social commentary on the endless drive for visceral video footage in TV news coverage.
Lou Bloom is a freelance video shooter who makes a living selling raw video footage of car crashes, fires, and violent crime scenes to local TV stations in Los Angeles. He makes contact with a female news director eager to buy the most sensational footage Bloom can supply.
Bloom is a manipulative, ruthless competitor. He is essentially a sociopathic personality with no internal moral workings beyond his own obsessive personal goals. He begins to cross all ethical and legal boundaries in his pursuit of the most graphic video images to sell.
Bloom's manic conduct builds tensely, with ominous foreboding of a bad end point coming. When it does happen, the violent results are sudden and hideous.
Nightcrawler is also a biting commentary on the TV news culture itself. The daily news cycle is a ravenous beast that must be constantly fed with new red meat stories in order to attract viewers and gain ratings. Viewers are drawn to the most sensational video material. We can't look away from the graphic scenes of carnage in spite of ourselves. TV news exploits this for its own commercial benefit.
The cycle goes on, day after day, always seeking the next new raw spectacle to report. This is the other side of the screen from Lou Bloom's amoral camera lens. And it all never stops coming.