BUG Directed by William Friedkin. Starring Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr, Michael Shannon, Lynn Collins, Brian F O’Byrne
18 cert Paranoia is rampant in Bug, based on a Tracy Letts play and marking a return to form for Friedkin, who has fallen far from his early 1970s heyday with The French Connection and The Exorcist. Bug (which goes directly to DVD here) is much more modest than either, and though it mostly takes place in the same motel, Friedkin’s cinematic treatment disguises its stage origins.
Judd engagingly plays a bar worker traumatised by the disappearance of her young son and fearing the return of her violent husband (musclebound Connick Jr). A lesbian co-worker (Lynn Collins) introduces her to a drifter (scenestealer Shannon), a Gulf War vet steeped in conspiracy theories and convinced that the motel is infested with insects.
As sinister Dr Sweet, Brian F O’Byrne completes the compact cast in Friedkin’s neat genre exercise, which goes wildly over the top, as it has to, for its delirious finale.