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
Throughout all the scenes in the motel where the bathroom is visible, we see that the bathroom door is a regular standard door. But in the scene when Peter is removing a tooth, as he goes to enter the bathroom the door changes into a double louvered door. Then changes back to the regular door in later scenes. See more »
BUG is a creepy psychological horror yarn directed by William Friedkin, the man behind such '70s classics as THE EXORCIST and THE FRENCH CONNECTION. Is this film in the same league as those films of yester-year? Not by a long shot. While the premise has a great deal of promise behind it, by the end this is a huge disappointment, a film that sacrifices disturbing realism for over-the-top theatrics by the climax, which is a real shame.
Theatrics is appropriate, as in the end this turns out to be adapted from a stage play, as evinced by the single-room setting. The first half is quirky and unusual, as we watch the film wondering how it's going to turn out. It flirts with a lot of themes and genres, without ever being easily pigeon-holed into a single one. Is it a psychological study of madness? Is it a creature feature horror flick? Is it a study of domestic violence, a romance, a two-hander character piece? It's all of those, but by the end the intense script falls apart and ends up tackling over-the-top sci-fi themes and becoming somewhat laughable.
One thing that does keep you watching is the calibre of the acting, which is top dollar. Ashley Judd is a fine piece of casting as the put-upon, run-down heroine, and she lends this film a sense of gravitas that would have otherwise been missing. Michael Shannon is a scene-stealer, his quirky, paranoid war veteran one of the most charming performances I've seen in the past few years, and there's a neat extended cameo from Harry Connick Jr, too.
The film has plenty of strong moments, a few bits of nasty violence, and a rather silly climax. It all mixes together into a rather unsatisfactory brew by the end, but hey, at least it's different.
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