Bug (2006)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  25 May 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 26,645 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 328 user | 209 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.



(screenplay), (play)
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Neil Bergeron ...
Bob Neill ...
Pizza Harris (voice)


Having escaped her abusive ex-husband Goss, recently released from state prison, Agnes, a lonely waitress with a tragic past moves into a sleazy, rundown motel. Her lesbian co-worker R.C. introduces her to Peter, a peculiar, paranoiac drifter and they begin a tentative romance. However, things aren't always as they appear and Agnes is about to experience a claustrophobic nightmare reality as the bugs begin to arrive... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


First they send in their drone... then they find their queen. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, sexuality, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 May 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bogárűző  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,015,846 (USA) (25 May 2007)


$7,006,708 (USA) (15 June 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Lynn Collins, director William Friedkin never took more than four takes to get a scene in this film, and in fact worked so fast that the actors sometimes had to beg him to do a second take when he thought they'd nailed it the first time. See more »


After Peter pulls out his teeth, you can see that he has a full mouth full when he is talking to the doctor. See more »


[first lines]
[phone rings]
Agnes White: Hello? Hello?
[hangs up]
Agnes White: Bastard!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a short scene after the first part of the credits, a telephone rings during the credits, and a brief shot after the credits end. See more »


Referenced in Playback (2012) See more »


Kick Kid
Written by Tyson Meade
Performed by Chainsaw Kittens
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User Reviews

Another play adaptation not to miss
16 November 2006 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

The Exorcist's William Friedkin makes a strong comeback directing Bug, the screen version, adapted by original playwright Tracy Letts, of his off-Broadway powerhouse about trailer trash paranoia that rocked the Village's Barrow Street Theater two years ago. The Barrow Street Bug didn't require any big names or high production values – the stage didn't even have a curtain – for its startling effects. Twenty dollars got you an evening of strange thinking and unpredictable behavior. The NYTimes called it "the season's wildest ride"; The New Yorker's sketch suggested it was the best play in town. This time there are new faces, all fine, though they couldn't be any better than the original stage cast. Here is Harry Connick Jr. playing Goss, a brute menace and an unwelcome surprise for Agnes (Ashley Judd, replacing Shannon Cochran in the original stage cast). Goss is Agnes' ex, turning up unannounced after two years in stir.

This obviously wasn't a play that needed a lot of opening up. Claustrophobia is one of its most essential elements. Friedkin wisely keeps his film version simple and boxed-in, adding sweaty closeups that show just how intense and brilliant the acting is, and just a couple of shots of other locales.

Agnes resides in a sleazy motel room on the edge of the desert -- which is the play's set -- and works in a bar with her lesbian friend R.C. (Lynn Collins). In the film we get a glimpse of the crowded dive. We also see the motel from outside and above. Agnes, for whom life is an obvious struggle, is tormented by the loss of her little son, who disappeared years ago in a supermarket. Later R.C. brings an odd, seemingly recessive guy named Peter (Michael Shannon) whose gradually emerging story becomes the film's/play's focus. He claims to be a Gulf War veteran. A fifth character is a man who claims to be a doctor, played by Brian F. O'Byrne.

Bug is about process, and the process is Peter's taking over of Agnes' fragile mental and physical world and the destruction of his own in a compulsive, creepy, but somehow exhilarating display of sleazy folie a deux. The insects that he sees everywhere, inside and outside, parallel the contagion of his diseased mind, which sends out invisible tendrils that envelop Agnes. Letts' astonishing dialogue metes out madness in gradually increasing doses. The fun is watching this happen and looking for transitions in the seamless and maniacally clever writing. Friedkin's filming gives a kind of lunar, hallucinatory edge and the action's intensity bursts from the screen. But all in all, nothing could outdo that evening at the Barrow Street Theater. It's surprising that the whole thing works almost as well in a movie, but where it doesn't, you realize that theater has certain powers found nowhere else.

The main US reviewers who check stuff out at Cannes and assess its commercial potential (Hollywood Reporter, Variety) think Bug is a bust. The title seems to remind them of Saw, and they judge this to be at best a cheap horror movie that can draw in an audience only through sensational trailers. That is shortsighted. Bug is horrific, but it's mainly a psychological study, executed with a wildly audacious taste for theatrical surprise and an uncanny ability to calibrate progressive character revelation. Friedkin appears to have returned to his roots here in dealing with a play and handling it with a fine minimalism. It is true certainly that an unsophisticated audience may find Bug disappointing, or too talky. But its real audience is the savvy Barrows Street kind, art house folks not unfamiliar with Beckett, Pinter, or Sam Shepard.

172 of 267 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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