Saturday, October 20, 2007


Bug (2007)

Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: Tracy Letts, based on his play
Starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., Lynn Collins, Brian F. O'Byrne

Okay, just as a sort of starting point - I wouldn't say that this is really fair to the movie, but when something says "From the Director of The Exorcist" on the box, you really expect it to pack a similar punch. It's like reading "from the director of Halloween" and getting Escape from L.A.. Disappointing.

Now that's out of the way. Movie about a woman plagued by her abusive ex-husband and regrets about losing her son and this psychotic drifter who shows up and stays with her. She falls in love with him and puts up with it when he starts going on about the infestation of blood-sucking aphids in her apartment, believes him when he says the government's after him, that they planted egg sacks in his teeth because they want to transmit the bug signals to space stations or some fucking thing. And eventually she goes totally nuts with him.

And that's what happens when your friends are schizos (and also homeschoolers, evidently. Okay, okay, okay, there are a few homeschooled kids from my particular circle who have a lot of creepy rapist potential, but they're all the weird ass religious types and they all have a sort of Norman Bates mother-son thing going on). The crazy can rub off on you. No, really, it can. Come on. I have to go get dressed, be back in but a moment...


Never mind, I'll do it later. It's only 10:24. I don't have to do anything for at least another two hours. I'll just sit here in my house coat. Pretending to be The Dude.

Wow, I'm off track a little bit. Right. Bug. I though this movie was about, like, little bugs fucking killing people and stuff and I was all like "Aw yeah". Little did I know, the bugs were only in the mind of the schizo.

Anyway, the movie starts out with potential. There's a powerful feeling in the first part that something really really bad is going to happen. One of the guys is going to do something really bad and horrific and emotionally scarring. I sat there in dread of this moment for some time.

Then it turned into a bit of a gross out fest (a rather subdued one, mind you - no showers of green vomit... none of the other things I still can't bring myself to mention. You know what I mean). I mean, there's some narsty stuff for a person such as myself with a sort of... dentist thing (who doesn't have a dentist thing, though, really? Dentists must be sadistic people... well, of course they are, right? Is it safe?). And then, yeah, I started to think about it.

Crazy doesn't rub off. The woman seemed pretty sensible to me at the beginning and by the end she's absolutely nutso. I know a person (not too many details, okay, it's somebody elses life and they may very well be reading this) who was hanging out with a paranoid schizophrenic dude and she sure as hell didn't go whacky like that. Okay, he didn't stay with her long, and their relationship was sort of different and that's probably enough details right there, but she doesn't have bugs.

Right? Right. And ultimately the film's roots as a play are very limiting. It starts out being more like a movie and gradually turns into a play, all set inside the apartment. This wouldn't be a bad thing, but they didn't really seem to utilize the full claustrophobic potential of using one small location.

Anyway, that being said, Michael Shannon was very good and Ashley Judd was almost tolerable. I don't like Ashley Judd, she irritates the hell out of me.

And there are one or two pretty good scenes in there, but overall the movie isn't great, and the ending is very disappointing, seeing as the whole movie is pretty much laid out for it to work. It almost feels like it was written backwards. Like the dude had an ending and then tried to make everything fit into it. Oh well oh well.


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