Ashley Judd as Agnes White
Michael Shannon as Peter Evans
Lynn Collins as R.C.
Brian F. O'Byrne as Dr. Sweet
Harry Connick Jr. as Jerry Goss
Bug is the story of a pathetic, insecure and lonely AWOL Army vet Peter (Michael Shannon) who drifts into the life of a pathetic, insecure and lonely waitress Agnes (Ashley Judd) living in a seedy motel in Oklahoma. Bored yet? Of course not – it’s Academy Award-Winning Ashley Judd! Expectations are high.
Throw in Agnes’s ex-husband Jerry played by the very attractive Harry Connick Jr. and yes, Horror Queen was nestled happily in her seat enjoying the visuals along with her yummy popcorn.
So what do the two desperate characters do? Proving inevitably over the course of the film that two wrongs don’t make a right, they become lovers. In a weak moment Peter then shares with Agnes his belief that he has fallen victim to a secret Army weapons test project wherein he has been injected with bug larvae that are literally eating him alive. For some women that would be a deal-breaker, but not for our dear Agnes who obviously weighed the pros and cons:
Cons: No job, no money, no place to live, believes bugs are eating him (or bugs ARE eating him)
Aside from being intrigued by the possibility of government conspiracy, not to mention the terror that lies ahead for poor Peter, Horror Queen at this point was also wondering what was so bad about ex-husband Jerry.
Pros: No bugs
Cons: Is an ex-con
Unfortunately this is about where the interesting plot ends and the bugs take over – or should I say the paranoia and endless discussion about bugs. A few instances of ex-husband Jerry coming around, having a jealous fit, and then leaving fail to make up for the incessant bug speak. At this point even my popcorn had begun to taste bland. Yet Bug managed to hold my interest solely because I was expecting an ending that would tie all the loose ends together in a shocking conclusion.
The shocking conclusion is that Bug, even with fine performances by talented actors, fails on most levels. Oh, and although I’m no psychiatrist the last time I checked, paranoid schizophrenia was not contagious.
Horror Queen Says: Bloody Thumbs Down for Bug.