Friday, December 3, 2021

#2,671. Bug (2006)


William Friedkin’s uber-creepy Bug stars Ashley Judd as Agnes, a waitress who lives in a rundown motel. One night, she is introduced to Peter (Michael Shannon), a drifter with no place to call home. The two immediately hit it off, and it isn’t long before Agnes is head-over-heels in love.

Not even the reappearance of her abusive ex, Jerry (Harry Connick Jr.), or the memory of her child - who was kidnapped ten years earlier and has never been found - can damper Agnes’s feelings for Peter.

Then, one night, Peter is bitten by a bug…

and then another…

and then another.

At first, Agnes can’t even see these mysterious insects, and some people, including her friend and co-worker R.C. (Lynn Collins), believe that Peter might be insane. Peter, however, continues to insist that there are bugs, and Agnes eventually believes him. But how far are the two willing to go to rid themselves of these miniscule parasites?

Based on a play written by Tracy Letts (who also penned the screenplay), Bug is a deeply disturbing motion picture, with masterful performances by both Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon as the lovebirds slowly losing their grip on reality. Shannon is especially strong as Peter, whose shy demeanor early on gives way to all-out paranoia by the end of the movie (a Gulf War vet, Peter is convinced the military implanted the bugs in his mouth, and the scene where he pulls several of his own teeth to destroy the “egg sac” is horrifyingly brutal).

These two characters drag us screaming into their world of fear and obsession (the opening scene, which features a ringing phone, suggests that Agnes herself may be delusional from the outset), and the more bugs they “find”, the more precarious their grip on reality becomes, resulting in a final 20 minutes that is positively harrowing.

Expertly directed by Friedkin, Bug is an absolute shocker.
Rating: 9 out of 10

1 comment:

Jake Moore AKA: @RiverCityOtter said...

"Bug" is a truly underrated film I don't hear much buzz about. You can't watch this film without feeling the itch! Dave glad to see you're appreciation for this gem!