Country : USA
Running Time: 95 minutes
Agnes, a waitress with a tragic past, lives in a run-down motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But when Agnes begins a tentative romance with Peter, a peculiar, nervous drifter, a sense of relief comes over her - until the bugs arrive....
Directed by William Friedkin. Written by Tracy Letts. Starring Ashley Judd, Harry Connick, Jr., Lynn Collins, Brian O’Byrne and Michael Shannon.
With the over saturation of films that repeat failed plots, senseless acting, and the hundreds of imitators looking to capitalize off Saw and Hostel, it is truly a relief to go into a theatre and watch something original and fresh.
In William (The Exorcist) Friedkin’s Bug, Ashley Judd plays Agnes, a lonely women in her thirties living out of a run-down motel working as a waitress in a bar. She lives day to day in fear of her recently paroled ex-husband after the previously aggressive relations they have had. Agnes sees an opportunity for a positive change when Peter (Michael Shannon), an eccentric War Veteran, arrives. That is…until the bugs surface.
Bug is a key example of why you shouldn’t judge a film (or anything for that matter) by the cover. The theatrical poster displays the torso of a man with an outer bevel of the word “BUG,” with the same color schemes of Saw. But contrary to most judgments, the film is very reminiscent of such classics as Psycho and The Exorcist regarding the suspense/thriller style, that has seemed to of faded out in modern films.
On a Hollywood standard, Bug is a low budget film, but don’t let that distract you from the film itself. The cinematography was of the best I have ever seen; the unique angles captured the eerie mood of the film. Friedkin is able to inculcate the apprehension captured onto the audience until the very end! But not to be outdone, the acting from Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon was astounding. The roles portrayed were believable, and so real it was frightening. As the story progresses, you begin to learn more and more about each character, exposing the reality which is to arise. To best explain the setting which the film primarily takes place...take Psycho’s infamous “Bates Motel” and mix that with the motel from The Devil’s Rejects and there you go, some scary shit!
There isn’t one specific thing that “made the film.” Like all great films, all the elements have to co-exist in each other. Without William Friedkin’s direction and Tracy Letts screenplay, the actors' performances and setting, etc., Bug wouldn’t be the masterpiece that it is. With all things considered, Bug is undoubtedly one of the best films of the year, and the best thriller made in years!
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Review by Jon Price, for Pitofhorror.com