BUG has Agnes, played by Ashley Judd, living in a small, dingy Oklahoma motel where she gets frequent anonymous phone calls, who she suspects is by her ex husband, Jerry, played by Harry Connick Jr. Her lesbian friend, RC, introduces Agnes to Peter, played by Michael Shannon, who right from the bat looks and appears off. From then on, he stays over at Agnes' place and out of loneliness from the both of them, they become romantically and sexually involved together. From the moment they have sex, a whirlwind of paranoia and goosebumps emerge.
Several directors has a certain style; Martin Scorsese is vibrant, fast, foul-mouthed and ambitious. Quentin Tarantino is violent, quirky and disorganized (in a good way). Christopher Nolan is visually stunning, a storyteller and intricately articulate. In Friedkin's case, he is dark (not like David Fincher) but for me, his messages are conflicting. That's an issue with BUG. What was it trying to say?
A definite character study on both Agnes and Peter, both of whom are messed up in their own ways, especially Peter. Shannon makes a horrifyingly convincing portrayal of a mysterious, paranoid self-proclaimed veteran. Whether it involves him complimenting Agnes, telling conspiracy stories or painfully pulling his own teeth off, there is always something odd about Peter. Like a speaker, the more he trusts Agnes, the more crazy he seems.
Agnes is more of a different story; she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but very lonely. She lost her son years ago and escaped an abusive Jerry, (Connick in an intimidating, southern stance). In all fairness, it would make sense why she gets with Peter so quickly; she was vulnerable and in need of someone to share her pain and Judd gives her character that sense. It is not as raw as Shannon's performance, but still feasible.