tjjones’s review published on Letterboxd :
I hated it whilst inebriated. Woke the next day figuring I didn't give it a fair shake. Watched the first half sober and turned it off. I still hated it but for more minute reasons. It's a broken film with shallow themes that it believes are profound.
Gilroy tried to evoke Altman but didn't seem to understand what made Altman's films work so well and not devolve into a mess:
1) Performances. With Altman, there's a sense of realism that lends itself to the ensemble style that allows it to be "uncinematic" while still being engaging. Here, the performances are over the top or just plain bad. They don't feel "real"
2) The Dialogue. Altman pushed for natural dialogue and would even mix the audio so that the main character's voices weren't mixed louder among the background characters. It creates a sense of these beings as part of a larger world. Here, the characters feel isolated in there bubbles of TELLING their relationships to one another rather than showing it. For instance, rather than showing Jake's commitment issues, he just says "My boyfriend wants to get married. I don't think I do." Paraphrasing but that happens again and again. "You are Hugo, famed film critic. Why are you coming to a grunge concert with me?" It's so inorganic that it borders on Wiseau.
3) Editing- Altman's films were influenced by Jazz music. They initially feel scattered but eventually, the rhythm reveals itself and gives it a sense of pace and structure. It's atypical but it's there. This is just a mess.
The fact that all of this is done for a Tales From the Crypt style moral makes it feel as pretentious as the characters it lampoons. Greed and commerce kills art so art kills the greedy and commercial.
It fails as art and it spectacularly fails as a horror film, as it's scares are nonsensical, follow no set of rules, aren't established, and I can't imagine muster a scare from anyone that's managed to stay awake.
This film inspires special ire from me because it has no excuse to be THIS bad and amateur. I looked back through Gilroy's writing credits and I'm now convinced Nightcrawler was the fluke and this will be the norm.