Bugs: A Trilogy

WIHFF 2018 Movie Review: ‘Bugs: A Trilogy’ Will Make Your Skin Crawl

I have Entomophobia or Insectophobia, a massive phobia of bugs. They make my skin crawl. It’s been this way since I was a child… sadly, it’s only gotten worse throughout my adulthood. I once saw a cockroach in my apartment and refused to go back inside, so I slept in my car. Then from there on out, I was positive the cockroaches were every and I would sleep with cotton balls in my ears and often with one eye open. Paranoia at its finest, folks, but a true story nonetheless.

So when I heard about Simone Kisiel’s Bugs: A Trilogy, I was both intrigued and terrified. However, I conquered my fears when it premiered at the 2018 Women in Horror Film Festival. I knew I had to watch it.

From Mad Dog Productions comes Bugs: A Trilogy, directed by the award winning filmmaker Simone Kisiel (Quietus 2015, Death of a Vacuum 2017, Housed miniseries) and written by Alexandra Grunberg (Housed miniseries, A Slaying Song Tonight 2017), who stars in each story as well. The cast also includes Mama’s Boy’s (2018) Malcolm Mills, The Punisher’s Kobi Frumer, Julia Beach (The Mind of a Murderer TV series), Marissa Carpio (Where There Is Now Exit 2018), Nikita Tewani (Niya 2015), Charnele Crick (Death of a Vacuum 2017) and Joe Cilio (Housed webseries)

The trilogy follows a babysitter (Grunberg) with a clever and violent ward (Frumer), a patient (Grunberg) who mistrusts the doctor’s (Tewani) orders, a young woman (Grunberg) haunted by a malevolent presence, and the terror that ties them all together: BUGS.

Each story is brilliantly written and crawling with different interpretations, an underlying feeling of dread and the hauntingly hopeless feeling of no one believing you, despite the horror you’re experiencing. Simone portrays this feeling in the most realistic and horrifying way that’s uncomfortably relatable, and at times, almost unbearable to watch.

“It’s like I’m eating carrots, and I’m just shitting orange liquid.”

I enjoyed each of the stories – “Hatchling,” “Parasite,” “Bed Bugs” – but I think the second and third one probably got to me the most. I have pretty severe stomach problems as well and I often dread going to the doctor in fear of them brushing my problems off or acting like its all in my head, so “Parasite” really dug its way into my brain. It made my stomach hurt just watching Alexandra’s character go through the pain and confusion of what was happening to her body.

The third one, “Bed Bugs,” deals with those nasty little critters, which are horrifying by themselves, but I feel like it’s 100 times worse when no one believes you that the bugs are really there. Stuff like that can truly mess with your head. Trust me, I know from experience. It makes you doubt everything, and above all, yourself… making you go mad.

Alexandra Grunberg is utterly brilliant in each story and delivers the fear, anxiety, and pain differently with each short. She acts with her whole body, and with a film like this, it made a huge difference. Without her performance, the trilogy wouldn’t have been nearly as effective or horrifying. Julia Beach was also exceptional, portraying a character that was intense and downright degrading. Let’s just say that she’s definitely not winning the Mother of the Year Award anytime soon.

“I believe that you are sure that you have bed bugs.”

I must also mention the beautiful and well-crafted cinematography and color scheme used throughout the Bugs: A Trilogy. It creates a unique and horrifying atmosphere that feels personal. Two scenes in particular stand out in my mind. One is the up-close shot of Alexandra’s character on the toilet in “Parasite.” It’s incredibly uncomfortable to watch, but the shot works perfectly, showing the intensity of her pain and what she’s going through. The other aspect I really liked is the red scheme in “Bed Bugs.” It makes it stand out from the other two stories and elevates what is going on with that poor woman.

Final Thoughts

If you want to watch something that portrays fear, confusion, uncertainty, hopelessness and bug-infested in a realistically horrifying way… Bugs: A Trilogy delivers it all. It’s such a brilliant film that deserves recognition. These stories prove that Simone Kisiel is a force to be reckoned with in the horror community, and we can expect great things from her in the future. Indie horror at its finest. If you want to check out Bugs: A Trilogy for yourself, you can grab it right on Amazon for only $4.99 or stream on Prime for free. That’s a hell of a deal, if you ask me!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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