Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Insects Buzzing Around Your Mind
When viewing horror movies, we often forget that monsters can be very real. In the case of Bug (2006) there is more than one creature, inhabiting real actual people. William Friedkin, the film's director, skillfully uses post September 11 paranoia and filters that through the lives of broken and tragic people. A love triangle of sorts exists, only two of the participants drive out the third person, an abusive ex-boyfriend who despite being told to leave numerous times refuses to give up someone who he still loves despite being cruel to them. Yet the most dangerous human monster is a man convinced that he is being spied upon, even bugged and tagged, by the government. His departure from reality is unfortunately projected onto a battered and broken woman, who still morns a loved one and who might just be as crazy as he is.
This film plays out as a tragedy, slowly building up to a fevered and disturbing pitch which then explodes rather horrifyingly. Despite the efforts of others to the contrary, these two people choose to fence themselves off from everyone and anything, going inward into both each other and a world that blends fact and fiction. Whether or not these events are really happening never becomes clear, and in some regards that makes some of the film's actual blunt effects on the viewer exist on rather shaky ground, although perhaps that is the point. The changing of the main environment, a roach motel in the middle of Oklahoma, from ugly brown to shinny blue clearly showcases the shift in the characters' mindsets, and perhaps gives a clue as to what is really going on.
Existing among some of the best claustrophobic based horror and thriller movies, Bug is a rather creepy and unnerving horror movie that reflects our most basic fears. Loss changes people, often for the worse, and the monster within takes advantage of these fears and warps them into something nasty and terrifying. Sometimes being wary of actual real life dangers is more important than watching out for imaginary ones, as some argue that paranoia is a heightened state of awareness. Maybe though is such a thing as being too aware, being fearful of non-existent threats. Fear is the most powerful drug in existence. 90