Bug (2006)
October 11, 2022 7:22 AM - Subscribe

At a rundown desert motel, Agnes (Ashley Judd) begins a tentative relationship with a newcomer named Peter (Michael Shannon). He has a strange charisma, one that offers fearful and unstable Agnes a flicker of hope. When Peter reveals that the military deliberately infected him with a bug and that he has tiny insects crawling under his skin, paranoia begins to envelop the desperate pair.

Directed by William Friedkin. Screenplay by Tracy Letts, based on his play.

61% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on HBO Max. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Very stagy, because yeah: it used to be a play first. But it's also a deliriously tense and paranoid two-hander. Truly underappreciated.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:34 AM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

I loved this movie. I remember, after seeing it, thinking "that was nothing like the trailer", and it was so, so much more interesting than the promos made it seem ("First, they send the drones, then they send the Queen"). Like, not science fiction horror, but an intimate look at two people descending into extreme paranoia.

I remember sometime after I saw it, hearing Tracy Letts during an interview say "Yeah, it was probably the most misleading marketing campaign ever".

I am extremely grateful to have been able to see the play at Steppenwolf in Feb 2020. The audience gasped and then applauded at the act break transformation from "motel room" to "motel room covered floor to ceiling in aluminum foil". Amazing stage magic.
posted by Gorgik at 12:07 PM on October 11, 2022

This movie is so deliciously tense. It starts out that way and just slowly ratchets the level up until the ending. I wasn't even aware of how much my body was clenching up. Great writing, and great by performances by Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd. They were both so believable, and I remember feeling so scared for Judd's character. She's just ignoring red flag after red flag, so afraid of being alone. I wanted to hug her and pull her out of the TV screen.
posted by mrphancy at 12:57 PM on October 11, 2022

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