Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Bug" A new twist of the Horror Genre

Now obviously I haven't read every review on "Bug" but from what I have read, nobody seems to get what this movie is about and it's pissing me off because they seem to be watering down how powerful of a story and character study this truly is. *spoiler alert* Don't read if you haven't seen this movie yet!!!

This movie is about crystal meth and the effects it can have on people. It also deals with co-dependant psychosis that is common in meth addicts. It was disguised as cocaine in the movie to avoid being obvious as to what was really going on. But Ashley Judd's character was also a meth cook evident in her grocery supplies. I can see why people might be upset, movie goers that were expecting a piece of trash like "Cabin Fever" or "Eight Legged-Freaks" were actually treated to something more real like a "Requiem for a Dream" meets "Spun". I can see how that would make a person with an IQ of 15 or less, a little mad. (Go watch Pirates of the Carribean next time you unoriginal bastards)
I didn't see this movie in the theatre, but I just rented it over the weekend and I was able to watch it a couple times. The first time I saw this movie I thought the charcters were just plain crazy, but upon seeing it for the second time, the fact that this was a meth movie was so obvious.
Early in the film Ashley Judd's character Agnes goes to the grocery store and buys no food just certain household chemicals such as Drano, some kind of cleaning chemical, and Liquor. Meth heads rarely eat food, also evident when Peter picks them up breakfast and they barely touch the muffin that he bought for both of them to share. Goss' character (Agnes' ex-husband) mentioned on more than one occasion that Agnes had gotten thinner since he last saw her. Meth rots your teeth, that's why the earliest form of discomfort came from Peter's tooth. Next comes the chemical burns and constant picking at your skin to make you look like the walking dead. The sores and lesions were burns and and self mutilation. Not to mention that bugs on or under your skin is one of the most common side effects of bad drugs
If you've never been around people that are "spun" (a word to discribe a multi-day meth binge without sleeping for days) then I can see how you might think the acting was over the top. However, the paranoia is really that bad. I've known people like this and it's a tragic situation to be around. Conspiracy theories run rapant, usually its the cops that are everywhere, not the military but since Peter actually did have history in the military, his conspiracy theories are far more sinister than simple cops outside the door.
Peter was a mentally unstable meth addict that found someone that cooked meth and that he could stay with and have all the meth he wanted. Agnes was a broken woman with no sense of joy, and being in close quarters doing drugs with a madman was the only thing she had to hang onto after the loss of her son 10 years prior and an abusive ex-husband always threatening her. She follows Peter down the path to destruction and finds anyway to make Peter's theories make sense, no matter how far fetched. The sybolism used to illistrate that fact was done ingeniously when Peter leaves her during the night but then comes back and tells her the story of the doctors doing experiments on him in the military. The whole time Peter is telling the story from his side of the door we hear a survelence helicopter near the motel but when the camera is showing Agnes locked inside the bathroom we hear no helicopter. However, by the time that he is done telling his story we see Agnes shed a tear, and tell him she doesn't want him to go, and right after that we can hear the helicopter inside the bathroom with her now. This is great way of illustrating that she is now willing to follow Peter into his path of self destruction and insanity.
The Doctor at the end of the film represented the only thing that could restore Agnes to her right mind but when Peter kills him, it was the same as killing Agnes. The ending is painfully beautiful. They complete their mental transformation into the Drone and Queen bug. In their minds they light themselves on fire to save the human race because if they burn themselves and the motel then the bugs cannot escape into the world and infest other people. You can't help but feel for these characters. I normally don't like anything Ashley Judd does but this was far and away the best character developement I've seen in a movie since Eric Bana's character in Munich. The story of Agnes and Peter is one that I will never forget.
One knock I've heard on this film is that "It isn't scary". But for someone with a friend or family member that is actively using methanphetymine, this film is scarier than Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho put together. 3 Thumbs up!!!


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