When Insect Egg Sacs Are Implanted Underneath Your Skin, You're Bound to Go Crazy

Posted by Prince Gomolvilas
ON Wednesday, May 30, 2007
First of all, Bug is not a horror movie. The crappy-ass advertising department over at Lions Gate wants me to think it's a horror movie. They leverage the relatively few horrific images in the film, as well as the fact that the director also helmed The Exorcist, in order to create a trailer that screams horror, horror, horror because a good horror campaign often translates into big box office.

So for the first 75 minutes of the movie, I'm thinking, "What a crappy-ass horror movie! It doesn't seem like a horror movie." And 76 minutes into the film, when truly horrific things finally start happening, I realize, "Hey, wait a minute. This isn't a horror film. It's a measured character study and psychological drama, and what I'm watching is two people's descent into complete and utter INSANITY." But the movie is not without its violence, blood, and visual terror; it just all gets saved for the last half hour.

I like Bug. Once I let my previous expectations go and accepted the movie on its own terms, I really dug how damn creepy it is. Michael Shannon, the actor who brings the movie's bug infestation into Ashley Judd's motel room, is phenomenally funny, weird, and disturbing all at the same time.

What a surprise and a pleasure, also, to discover during the end credits that the film was written by a playwright, Tracy Letts, based on his play of the same name. That's why the story is so damn intelligent, and that's why Lions Gate felt the need to trick the masses. (Incidentally, Letts's Killer Joe, which I never saw, made a big splash on the San Francisco theater scene a few seasons ago.)

When Tracy Letts eventually Googles himself and comes across this page, will he please do me the honor of leaving a comment to answer this question about the movie: "Now, c'mon, really, what's with the invisible penis?"

—Reporting From Glendale, California
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