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Movie Review: Bug

Bug is an American film based on the popular Bug play written by Tracy Letts. It deals with issues of domestic violence, paranoia, schizophrenia and secret governmental experiments with a new horror-filled twist. Ashley Judd plays the waitress in this movie that lives in fear of her abusive ex-husband who is inadvertently let out of jail. She meets up with a new lover who instills conspiracy theories in her which escalates her fears. Ashley brings this character to life and makes the audience wonder what is real and what is just plain madness. Harry Connick, Jr. brings his talents to the role of Ashley’s ex-husband. He brings a new side of his acting talents to the movie screen playing a violent, evil-minded character versus the softer-sided roles he’s played in the past. Michael Shannon bursts into the movie reprising the role he made popular with the play version of Bug. He brings the necessary qualities to make his courteous and gentle character believable to the audience. His acting abilities are enhanced by working with such stars as Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr. The movie titillates the mind with thoughts of conspiracies and government experiments gone wrong with elusive and dangerous parasites. You’re made to feel the fear of the abusive ex-husband and the enlightened awareness of the UFOs and secret experiments. The plot thickens within the movie and you’re left wondering what’s real and what’s brought on with the madness of fear. Agnes, the waitress, begins to believe everything her new lover has told her and she starts to fall into the depths of his paranoia. The audience gets caught up in the drama, believing that her new beau is crazy and bringing her down with his demented thinking, but we’re appalled at how she can believe everything he tells her and think he’s making perfect sense. The movie is shot primarily in a motel room, but the plot makes it seem much more than that. The room transforms by the end into a shelter to protect them from their innermost fears, but it resemble some kind of raid bunker people had back in the days when our fears of bombings were heightened with wars. This movie makes you want to jump into the screen and pull Agnes out of the depths of her fear and show her what she’s seeing isn’t real, but the real question is what is real? What other movies takes an audience to a place where fear isn’t for their own lives, but rather for the lives of the characters on the screen? William Friedkin’s film, Bug, is a horror-filled movie that leaves its audience wanting to know more about the main characters and where the paranoia will take them.


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