Bug (2006)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

USA, 2006.  Lions Gate Films, L.I.F.T. Production, DMK Mediafonds International, Inferno Distribution.  Screenplay by , based on his play.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A lonely Oklahoma woman () spends her nights working in a bar and her days hiding out in the motel room where she lives. After fellow waitress  brings over a friend (Michael Shannon) for an evening of drinking and drugs, he ends up sticking around, the two of them drawn to each other despite the danger of Judd’s violent ex-husband () showing up.

Shannon reveals that he is ex-army and AWOL, being chased by soldiers who want him for mental experiments that they performed on him during his service. She, already mentally enfeebled by abuse, drugs and the loss of her child years earlier, comes to care for him and the two hunker down in their little hovel and shut the rest of the world out.

Unfortunately, the downside to their new paradise is that it is infested with bugs that are eating them alive but don’t seem to affect the people who visit them. This foray into psychological confusion is intelligently written and directed, but far too unpleasant to be stomached. William Friedkin is too happy to show the ugly side of every possible situation, while the moments that could be ironically uplifting, the way these characters reach out to each other for instance, is instead made grimy and sinister.

The performances are top-drawer, Judd particularly frightening as a woman with no independent personal compass, but the descent into a dark inner world is grim and not redeemed by any person or occurrence. Based on the play by Tracy Letts, and the stagebound setting really shows.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s