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Bug

Don't believe the horror hype
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 23, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Bug.

“From the director of The Exorcist!” goes this film’s marketing campaign. Those expecting Bug to be some kind of horror movie will be disappointed, however. So will those expecting something more subtle or artful. William Friedkin opens up Tracy Letts’s play with one soaring, mysterious aerial shot into the motel of the setting, and from there it’s relentlessly inward we go. Saloon girl Agnes (Ashley Judd) shrinks from the ringing telephone because she knows it’s her abusive ex (Harry Connick Jr.), newly sprung from the joint and back to get her. Soft-spoken oddball stranger Peter (Michael Shannon) seems kindly and protective, but he confirms Agnes’s bad judgment in men — he says he’s a veteran and the victim of scientific experiments, and after their first roll in the hay, he introduces her to his obsession: bugs. He’s kind of like the guy in A Scanner Darkly but not as amusing, and despite all the energy, the final götterdämmerung merely bugged me.
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