- 1 hr 42 min
Bug is a 2006 psychological horror film directed by William Friedkin and starring Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon and Harry Connick Jr. The film is based on a play of the same name by Tracy Letts, who also wrote the screenplay. The movie revolves around Agnes White, a lonely waitress living in a seedy motel room in rural Oklahoma. Agnes is haunted by the memory of her missing son, who was taken by her abusive ex-husband, and struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism. One night, she meets Peter Evans, a Gulf War veteran and drifter who is looking for a place to stay. After a tentative start, the two develop a relationship and begin to share Agnes' room.
However, their fragile bond is soon threatened by the presence of a bug infestation in Agnes' room. Peter becomes obsessed with the bugs, convinced that they are part of a government conspiracy and that he and Agnes are being monitored by unseen forces. As his paranoia intensifies, he enlists Agnes in his delusions and convinces her to isolate themselves from the outside world, barricading themselves in the room and covering its walls with tin foil to block out the bugs and the surveillance.
As time passes, Peter's delusions become more extreme and Agnes starts to lose her grip on reality. The couple's relationship transforms into a twisted, codependent dynamic in which they feed off each other's fears and anxieties. Their paranoia culminates in a dramatic and violent climax that leaves their fate uncertain.
Bug is a claustrophobic, intense and disturbing film that defies easy categorization. On the surface, it can be seen as a horror movie about a bug infestation, but it quickly becomes apparent that the bugs are a metaphor for something deeper, perhaps a symbol of the characters' own fears and anxieties. The film explores themes of mental illness, trauma, addiction, isolation, and the consequences of unchecked paranoia.
The performances of Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon are exceptional, with Judd delivering a nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of a woman in pain, while Shannon's unpredictable and unsettling performance as Peter is a tour-de-force of acting. Harry Connick Jr. also shines in a small but crucial role as Agnes' ex-husband, who represents the toxic masculinity and abuse that Agnes is trying to escape.
Director William Friedkin, who is best known for his work on The Exorcist and The French Connection, creates a suffocating and oppressive atmosphere that perfectly captures the characters' descent into madness. The cinematography by Michael Grady is also noteworthy, using a low-budget, handheld style that adds to the sense of intimacy and rawness.
Overall, Bug is an unsettling but fascinating film that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll. It's not a movie for everyone, but those who appreciate psychological horror and complex character studies will find plenty to admire here.
Bug is a 2006 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1 and a MetaScore of 62.