Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Michael Shannon's psychotic turn is his breakthrough performance for me..Nerve racking,edgy and an underrated film from Friedkin.
SAW IT AT FANTASTIC FEST 2006
A great movie about love gone wrong. The movie is about lovers who have this obssession about being surrounded by bugs that are changing them.The acting is so strong in this movie I actually believe their paranoia of the characters.
O cara gravou o powerslave do cinema mundial e nunca mais acertou nada.
Rather like Killer Joe, should've stayed a play
A bit misplaced on a horror list. This is more of a redneck drama that turns into a thriller. It is about paranoia and insanity, and how easy it is to influence people that are vulnerable and lonely. I didn't find it very enjoyable to watch, so you have to be in the right state of mind when if you want to give it a try.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I like this movie more in theory than in practice. In theory, it's well acted and directed, a tough, nasty, lean paranoid thriller that should be right up my alley. In practice it's lacking something. My instinct is that it's Tracy Letts' script, adapted from his play. It's hard to sell us Ashley Judd's character drinking Michael Shannon's Kool-Aid so quickly and so completely. Some of the dialog seems repetitive and the monologue at the end where Judd convinces herself of an astonishing load of bull crap is...really something. The foil-covered hotel room interior is moody but constantly reminds us that both these characters are crazy as some fucking loons.
Bug is probably the best acting I've seen out of…
Letterboxd Assignment- Watch Tony Romo's favorite horror movie from 2006.
This left me itching for more.
Ashley Judd shows her cans 3 times and gets naked twice. Fantastic!
Maybe one day Michael Shannon will play a innocent pacifist with no mental problems whatsoever. Nobody does this kind of thing quite like Friedkin. The final act is so ridiculously crazy and immersive that I'm starting to feel a little itchy.
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
A blend of personal favorites and films that I consider to be the "greatest." Top two-hundred is definitive. Only 1940-2015.