Tracy Letts did a great job in transforming his 1996 play into a script. Friedkin in turn adds an uncomfortable subtext by showing flashlike splinters of another reality (or other realities) at specific points (not only at the beginning or during and after the closing credits). The performances of Ashley Judd (especially the variety of facial expressions) and Michael Shannon are stunning and sometimes really creepy.
Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours! == Tennessee WILLIAMS in the Twilight Zone. BILDERBERG group, a bunch of lesbians, many clichés. SHANNON zero charisma. JUDD 100% mad. For lovers of conspiracies. === Tenessee WILLIAMS dans la 4ème dimension. Le groupe BILDERBERG, une lesbienne paumée, bcp de clichés. SHANNON zéro charisme. JUDD 100% barge. Pour amateurs de complots. === After Tracy LETTS's theater play. 2,5/5.
It's easy to look past the too-quick-and-convenient aspect of the mutual descent into madness when you're wrapped up in the lunacy of the lead performances. Masterful direction of a dialogue-heavy script that manages to slip some pitch-black humour into an otherwise tense and pulsating story about both mental illness as well as desperation and loneliness. Beautifully effective small-scale filmmaking.
I rewatched this again after seeing William Friedkin's Killer Joe and realizing they are both based on Tracy Letts' plays. Bug definitely shares a bit stylistically with Killer Joe but it's still an entirely different animal in itself. I don't like to summarize films, so I'll just say that this is about two people going a little crazy. Are their bugs in your bloodstream?
What looked like a crappy horror movie turned out to be a great showcase for stunning performances (namely from Michael Shannon) and absolute madness. I was absolutely floored by the escalation, the ending and the post credits easter eggs. You can see this was a play, but the final act is beautifully and disturbingly cinematic. I really wish I didn't wait so long to see this.