You may remember I mentioned a 1975 movie called Bug in the Horror That Made Me series. Well, today’s Sham Shocktober entry is an entirely different Bug, directed by William Friedkin and released more recently in 2006. The fact that Friedkin is behind it is enough on its own to make me want to see it, since I generally find his stuff pretty interesting – well, apart from CAT Squad, which he must’ve been seriously hard-up to have considered making (although, while making one CAT Squad movie might be considered a misfortune, making two?! That’s just careless).
Anyway, the two Bugs have nothing to do with one another. Bug #1 was a 70s creature feature about pyromaniac cockroaches, while Bug #2 looks to be a psychological freak-piece about two mentally unsound lovers (Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon) holed up in a rotting motel room and facing a possibly imaginary insect infestation. Harry Connick Jr. seems to be in it as well (the film, that is, not the motel room), possibly crooning a few appropriate songs like “I Got You Under My Skin” and “Lofty’s Roach Soufflé”.
What I find interesting about the idea of watching Bug #2 is that it looks to encapsulate perfectly how my idea of horror has changed in the years since Bug #1 had me quivering under the bedsheets in fear of flammable cockroaches. To wit, things that scared me as a pre-teen included mutant killer cockroaches, cockroaches on fire, cockroaches crawling down my ear, and cockroaches in my bed. These days, I’m far more likely to have nightmares about mental illness, bad hotel rooms, and Harry Connick Jr.