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 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.58%
Worth A Look: 16.67%
Average: 22.92%
Pretty Bad27.08%
Total Crap: 18.75%

4 reviews, 24 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Day of the Beast, The by Jay Seaver

Transference: A Love Story by Erik Childress

Thunder Force by Peter Sobczynski

Voyagers by Peter Sobczynski

Flaming Brothers by Jay Seaver

French Exit by Lybarger

Perdita Durango by Jay Seaver

Godzilla vs. Kong by Peter Sobczynski

Charlatan by Jay Seaver

Nobody (2021) by Lybarger

subscribe to this feed

Bug (2007)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"In which crazies come out of the woodworks, just like bugs."
4 stars

"Bug" isn't a horror film, nor is it a straight-up psychological thriller. It dwells instead in the twitchy, uncomfortable realm between those styles, with elements of a weird love story thrown in for good measure. Does it work? Yes, in a way. It's hard to imagine how a movie with such jarring, disparate ingredients could succeed 100 percent, but "Exorcist" director William Friedkin -- as qualified as anyone to take a stab at it -- nearly pulls it off.

Adapted by Tracy Letts from his own play, the film takes place almost entirely in a seedy Oklahoma motel room, the home of Agnes (Ashley Judd), a waitress at a lesbian honky-tonk bar and the ex-wife of a convict. The con, Jerry (Harry Connick Jr.), has just been paroled, making the lonely, beaten-down woman more anxious than usual. She drinks vodka and snorts cocaine with the gusto of someone who doesn't expect to live much longer, or who doesn't have much to live for anyway.

Agnes' friend and co-worker, R.C. (Lynn Collins), introduces her to Peter (Michael Shannon), a polite, awkward drifter who doesn't drink or do drugs. They all hang out at the motel room for a while until R.C. goes home, leaving Agnes and Peter to get acquainted. Neither is looking for love, or even sex; companionship will do for now.

Peter says he's more intuitive than most people, able to discern secrets and to see things most people don't notice. He demonstrates this "vision" metaphorically by getting Agnes to admit some of her past sorrows -- she and Jerry had a son who disappeared 10 years ago -- and then literally by finding tiny bugs in the bed sheets. Aphids, he says, and they bite. And they're everywhere. Do aphids really bite? Never mind. Can Agnes see them too? Never mind!

She sees them soon enough, all over herself and the room, and thus begins the film's descent into unsettling craziness. Peter is your garden-variety paranoid nutcase, ranting about conspiracy theories and other madness, yet Michael Shannon -- reprising his role from the London and New York productions -- plays him with such reasonable-sounding passion that you almost believe him.

Agnes is certainly a convert. The film suggests, painfully, that we seek out elaborate conspiracy theories to explain things like 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing because they provide better, more satisfying explanations for events that are otherwise too monstrous to contemplate. You can use paranoia to explain away all your problems and fears, and that's what a wounded soul like Agnes needs.

Judd and Shannon are both fearless and unselfconscious in their portrayals of these unhinged characters, and that's where the film walks a perilous tightrope. Their increasingly impassioned rants probably play better on the theatrical stage, where the audience can be caught up in the moment more readily due to the immediacy of live theater. With film, it's much harder to establish that intimacy, and thus much more likely that someone in the audience is going to laugh at histrionic lines like "I am the super mother bug!" And once one person laughs, it's hard to take it seriously anymore.

That's not a fault of the film, necessarily. The performances, the directing, and the editing all suggest that everyone involved was fully committed to treating the onscreen madness with dead seriousness. If you can be absorbed in it the way Friedkin intended, you'll find yourself suitably disturbed by the horrific and inevitable conclusion.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 05/27/07 14:13:26
[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
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
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

  25-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 25-Sep-2007



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

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast