Part of A Tribute to William Friedkin
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, psychosis begins to envelop the desperate pair.
Friedkin’s first partnership with playwright Tracy Letts (they later collaborated on 2011’s KILLER JOE) buzzes with tense paranoia and features some truly off the wall performances from Judd and Shannon. Prophetic in hindsight, William Friedkin’s 2006 film hits harder in the era of QAnon.
“Begins as an ominous rumble of unease, and builds to a shriek… The film is lean, direct, unrelenting.” —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times (May 24, 2007) “Has the feverish compression of live theater and the moody expansiveness of film. The mix is insanely powerful.” —David Edelstein, New York Magazine (May 18, 2007)