More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
2.86

Awesome: 16.33%
Worth A Look: 16.33%
Average: 22.45%
Pretty Bad26.53%
Total Crap: 18.37%

4 reviews, 25 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Golden Era, The by Jay Seaver

Maze Runner, The by Daniel Kelly

Art and Craft by Jay Seaver

One Chance by Jay Seaver

St. Vincent by Peter Sobczynski

Wyrmwood by Jay Seaver

Judge, The by Peter Sobczynski

Over Your Dead Body by Jay Seaver

Breakup Buddies by Jay Seaver

Dracula Untold by Daniel Kelly

subscribe to this feed


Bug (2007)
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Quick, Henry, the Flit!"
2 stars

Remember the character in 'A Scanner Darkly' who thought aphids were crawling all over him? 'Bug' is like a movie about that character and Ashley Judd in a motel room.

And, much to the chagrin of those lured into theaters by Lionsgate’s wildly misleading ad campaign — which makes the film look like Slither or something — that’s pretty much all Bug is about. I knew going in that it was a psychological two-character drama (with three supporting players), so I wasn’t expecting a gore-and-latex-fest. What I didn’t know going in was how tedious an exercise it would prove to be.

Judd gives one of her tormented-white-trash performances as Agnes, a waitress in a lesbian bar, though herself heterosexual. Agnes is dreading the return of her abusive ex-husband (Harry Connick Jr.) from prison. One afternoon about ten years ago, Agnes took her young son to the supermarket, he was kidnapped and never found, and she’s never gotten over it. She spends her nights snorting coke, counting her crumpled tips, and existing on the knife edge between loneliness and despair. In short, Agnes is a dream role for an actress hungry to leave mainstream fare far behind. Judd enacts Agnes’ misery skillfully enough, but the character hardly makes any sense.

Agnes’ coworker (Lynn Collins) brings a mysterious man into Agnes’ life — Peter (Michael Shannon), who seems good-hearted, if withdrawn. Shannon, perhaps best known of late as the zealous Marine who saved the cops’ lives in World Trade Center, has a creepy baby face that lends itself well to obsessive characters. So it’s not too surprising when Peter, a Gulf War vet, turns out to have a few screws loose. Like Rory Cochrane in A Scanner Darkly, Peter feels bugs on him — bugs no one else can see. Soon they’re not only on his skin, they’re under his skin, and then in his blood. Rather too quickly, Agnes believes Peter’s story, which metastasizes into full-blown conspiracy-theory paranoia enveloping everyone from Jim Jones to Timothy McVeigh (what, no Elvis?). The pair, soon flailing around in mutual hysteria, hole up in rooms literally wallpapered with tin foil.

William Friedkin directed Bug, and I have nothing much bad to say about the way he holds up his end of the deal. He delivers a tight, upsetting bit of work without falling into the quick-cut, shock-tactic habits of his inferiors. The fatal problem with Bug starts with the screenplay, adapted by Tracy Letts from his own stage play (Shannon originated his role onstage). This material badly wants to be searing and disturbing, but it’s all too obviously conceived as showboat material for actors, with little room for subtlety. Eventually, when Ashley Judd has to scream “I AM THE SUPER MOTHER BUG!”, it’s the sort of flashy theatrical moment that unavoidably becomes camp on the big screen. The actors work their tails off, but the material is essentially unsurprising and predetermined. It stays its psychotic course to the bitter, fiery end, which I suppose is some form of integrity, though not particularly edifying or entertaining.

For all its pretense, Bug plays like an overextended episode of the Showtime series Masters of Horror, and not one of the better ones, either. It deals in careless stereotypes — Crazy War Vet! Abused and Self-Abusing Southern Chick! — and brings real-world pain and atrocity, unearned, into its hermetic little duelling-monologue universe to beef it up.

If not for the exertions of the actors, and if not for the welcome sight of William Friedkin weighing in with career-comeback direction, 'Bug' probably wouldn’t be getting such a free ride from many critics. Is it more ambitious than most modern horror movies? Yes. Does ambition equal success? Don’t we all wish it did.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15017&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/28/07 10:57:33
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.

User Comments

4/05/13 David Hollingsworth Very underrated, and disturbing! 5 stars
5/09/10 Tyler Sciortino Misunderstood as all hell. 5 stars
11/04/09 avrille alinaalbum com 2 stars
5/26/09 mr.mike It was dreadful. 2 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner This one was kinda boring. 2 stars
7/10/08 drdanny Entomo-Clausto-riffic! 4 stars
11/22/07 mike really dumb and u can only laugh at the stupidity in the end. very bad movie 1 stars
11/18/07 Jeff Anderson Like THE EXORCIST it's nerve-racking, but it's tense. Judd & esp. Shannon are fantastic! 4 stars
10/25/07 Lynn overacting big time!!!!!! 1 stars
10/08/07 WeeToddDidd Blah! Only worth it to see Ashley show hes stuff 2 stars
10/02/07 Angelica Message of all AJ movies could be wholly conveyed just by"Men Suck" tattooed on her forhead 1 stars
9/24/07 Jason Ashley Judd is naked alot...enough said!! Her nudity is the only thing worth wild in this. 2 stars
8/07/07 CiCONDeck I Laughed Because there were only 3 people in the thearte. Cried becasue ia wasted $7 on it 1 stars
6/27/07 damalc probably a lot better on stage than on screen 3 stars
6/15/07 William Goss Stage adaptation boasts strong performances, even stranger plot developments. 3 stars
6/06/07 kayjay2323 The audience was laughing hysterically. Need I say more? 1 stars
6/05/07 Ian utterly terrible 1 stars
6/03/07 dmitry samarov UGH!!! 2 stars
6/03/07 khkrinzman horrendous, pretentious, banal---the insanity of bug is sitting through the whole thing. 1 stars
5/31/07 Amit well, the movie was pretty good and the acting of stars was good enogh 3 stars
5/31/07 VENKATESH RAO Good Performances 3 stars
5/29/07 Harriett Holmes The explosion was a metaphor for what happened to my $9.00 1 stars
5/28/07 Blizz I agree with Brian. 2 stars
5/27/07 Brian Mckay Good performances, but meh. Two crazy people in a room for 2 hours = tedious 3 stars
5/25/07 RKM Someone get the RAID! Bug sucks!! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  25-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 25-Sep-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2014, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast