Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
First they send in their drone... Then they find their queen.
A lonely waitress with a tragic past, Agnes rooms in a run-down motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But when Agnes begins a tentative romance with Peter, an eccentric, nervous drifter, she starts to feel hopeful again - until the first bugs arrive...
I seriously can't believe it. After my wife subjected her poor mid 70's parents to Killer Joe last night, she somehow convinced them, by some sly Ashley Judd trickery, to watch Bug tonight. I suspect they aren't going to visit anymore.
Me, I was smiling all the way through. Not from observing my in-laws uncomfortable, but well timed, reactions, ( well, maybe a little ) but rather that on a short re-watch this film didn't lose a speck of it's brilliant luster.
After being completely gob-smacked by Friedkin’s Killer Joe last year, I was eagerly anticipating seeing his previous collaboration with playwright Tracy Letts. I was expecting good things, but not the incredible ride I was taken on.
Right from the opening scene, Friedkin conveys so much with such masterful economy, it’s staggering. We start with a distant point of light, as we move in closer and closer you feel the isolation and loneliness, and you feel that something is arriving. The simple use of the harsh ringing of a telephone elicits a sense of menace and dread.
Perhaps we’re seeing a visual metaphor of Peter’s elliptical approach to Agnes. He sees her tiny point of light, and is drawn to her…
Infestation is everywhere in Bug attacking the pores of the skin, slowly taking over the mind, large pests leaving prison to invade lives, secret organisations on the hunt looking to exterminate their prey. It's a cacophony of disease surrounding two people holed up inside their own lonely lives, barricaded into a motel room, seeking refuge in the corners of their disappearing sanity.
This intense psychodrama quietly lays its seed early on then draws you in slowly, almost deceptively, to a climax that will leave you wide-eyed at two actors totally off the leash. Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon turn in performances of the like you rarely get to see, or which a director rarely inspires. An actor on their game…
Bug had me from the very first scene.
Black screen with credits. An old rotary phone rings.
It is answered by a woman. Hello? (pause). Hello?
An aerial view of the middle of nowhere with what looks to be 5 buildings surrounded by nothing but empty fields and a highway.
It's eerie and ominous already. Someone somewhere down below is getting calls. Wherever she is we know she is isolated. Alone.
The camera keeps moving forward. She is in one of these buildings.
Who is calling her? How long has this been going on?
The camera begins to settle on a decrepit motel. Motel. Is she hiding from someone? Has he found her?
We are now just above the motel…
Agnes White (Ashley Judd) lives in a run-down motel. Her son has gone missing years ago. Her violent ex-husband has recently been released from prison. She receives silent phone calls that worry her. She meets Peter Evans (Michael Shannon) through a friend. He is acting very strange and seems to be a dangerous person but Agnes allows him to stay with her for awhile. As they begin to know each other, she finds out from him that he was used by the military in different experiments, ran away and now is followed by secret agencies.
This movie is insane. Most of it takes place in the motel room which creates a claustrophobic atmosphere rarely achieved in other movies. Ashley Judd…
Those who have seen Bug will know damn well why I start this review with that exclamation. After all, where the hell did they get that much tinfoil from?!
I jest of course, it's because Bug is mad. When I say that I don't mean in the usual way you might describe something as such, but because the content is mad. Portraying paranoid delusion and escalating psychosis is something that cinema has often struggled to do convincingly and even truly great films have grappled with the subject but not really managed to do so all that successfully.
On this front, films often go wrong on one of two levels - acting performances or pacing. I would imagine it…
I am the super mother bug
Friekin's return. Love his handheld, zooming camera style in this world. Love staying on Ashley judd's single CU during the conversation about her son. The set design is incredible. The performances are great too. Ashley Judd's arc seems a little abrupt but it still works.
I'd been thinking about self-administered dental work as a way to save money, but after watching this movie I'm not sure it's such a good idea.
me at the beginning of this film: i'm in love with michael shannon!
me at the end of this film: i'm ABSOLUTELY FUCKING TERRIFIED of michael shannon! but i'm still in love with him!
Date a girl that would pick invisible bugs out of your skin. :)
A meth smoker, coke snorter woman lives in a motel, she's lonely and meets a bit weird guy. A bug infestation starts.
Extremely disgusting, claustrophobic feeling, you want it to end well, but you just know that it wont. It sends you on a downward spiral, of anxiety and paranoia.
I already told you too much, please watch it, truly amazing film.
SUPER MOTHER BUG
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It's a simple story, really.
Boy meets girl.
Boy gets girl.
Boy reveals that he was the subject of biological testing.
Boy convinces girl that bugs sent by the government are in her motel room.
Boy removes tooth with a set of rusty pliers.
Boy and girl cover the walls in a shit ton of aluminum foil and flypaper.
Girl declares herself the "Super Mother Bug".
Boy and Girl set themselves on fire.
It's pretty well worn territory at this point.
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
Think I feel comfortable with this again? The best. Chronological. Constantly in flux.