Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bug (2006).

I have just finished watching...

Director William Friedkin denies it belongs to the horror genre and yet it has about ten times more frightening an impact than The Hamiltons - for which this DVD had a trailer, coincidentally.

Adapted from a play, with a small cast and practically one-room setting, Bug charts the descent into madness of lonely waitress Agnes White (the phenomenal Ashley Judd), after starting a relationship with a shy but odd drifter named Peter (Michael Shannon, who played the same role onstage and is as equally brilliant as Judd, here).

Peter is ex military and is bubbling with conspiracy theories and paranoia; Agnes is part-destroyed by losing her young son and having suffered an abusive marriage. She starts listening to and believing Peter's rants about a secret government experiment on soldiers during the Gulf War.

In no time at all, the pair have alienated the one friend Agnes had and are convinced their motel suite, then their own bodies, are infested with millions of tiny US government bred insects.

Peter ripping out a tooth he believes to harbour an egg sack. Tooth horror might be my least favourite kind...

The thing is, we the audience are never told the absolute truth. Yes, these two seem completely cuckoo, but there are many little signposts within the movie that actually corroborate Peter's stories.

By the end of the film, the suite has been covered in foil and bug capture devices.

There's no going back after some final conclusions are drawn. In two magnificently deranged monologues, connections are made between all of the information we have learnt about Agnes; and even to us, sitting in our non foil covered rooms, it kinda makes sense. The climax of the movie is heartbreaking, completely nuts, and perfect.

If you watch this and enjoy it, then I urge you to watch it again, as it definitely benefits from a second viewing. The director's commentary is also worth a listen for the hypnotic voice of mister Friedkin, guiding us soothingly through what is a dark, surprisingly moving film.


  1. I think I was the only person in the world who actually went to see this at teh cinematheque. Which pains me because I really enjoyed it.

    Spread the slow-burn love like butter on the toast of the ignorant.

  2. And extra points for you in fact, because I'm sure I read it was a really limited release over here ;)

  3. Well based on the strength of that, I may well seek this one out, sounds interesting.

  4. I can give you my copy if you like? I need to be strict with DVD space :) The only thing is one of the chapters stutters a fair bit (it seemed to play fine on my PC though?!). Up to you, the offer's there!