Tom Humberstone

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horror month - day 26

Bug (2006)

"I'd rather talk with you about bugs, than nothing with anybody."

Quick summary: Agnes is living in a crummy motel room, terrified of her abusive ex-husband returning from prison, and on the edge of sanity when she meets Peter. An army vet who believes he's been experimented on.

Oh man. This was an intense watch. Absolutely compelling and probably one of the films of the month. But on the Threads spectrum of not-an-easy-watch. Interesting that it's a film that taps into the fears of a surveillance state but was made before the Snowden revelations - it almost feels more relevant now than it would have in 2006.

I felt itchy for about an hour after the film.

It's based on a Tracy Letts play (Michael Shannon played the same character on stage) and the dialogue and structure of the film certainly feels stageplay-esque. But that's not to say this isn't cinematic. Friedkin uses some jarring editing, heightened sound design, and beautifully composed shots to really make this feel like a film. It's a dialogue-heavy, paranoia filled bottle episode.

Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd are incredible. Also, I could draw Michael Shannon's super intense face all day long.

Beyond The Exorcist and French Connection, I haven't actually seen much of Friedkin's back catalogue. This has reminded me to finally sit down with Killer Joe and Cruising at some point. There's a refreshing, uncompromising tone to Bug that had me itching to go back and re-watch Friedkin classics too.

Tonight: Time for Berberian Sound Studio (2012).