10 Horror Movies With No Obvious Villain

9. Bug (2006)

Lake Mungo

An underrated psychological horror helmed by The Exorcist’s William Friedkin, Bug is one flick that will get under your skin.

The film centres around alcoholic waiter Agness (Ashley Judd) who’s been left reeling from the death of her son and escape from an abusive relationship. One day she’s introduced to Peter (Michael Shannon), an ex-soldier, and the pair strike-up a close relationship.

However, events take an insane turn when Peter confesses that he believes the government has infected him with microscopic bugs. And despite Agnes being understandably sceptical to the claim, she soon becomes swept up in the conspiracy. The pair shut themselves away in Agnes’s motel room and cover the walls in tinfoil. As their speculation grows increasingly outlandish, their behaviour likewise becomes more extreme until the tension explodes in a violent finale.

No matter how ridiculous Peter’s claims may seem, though, the script leaves a tiny shred of doubt that he could be telling the truth. This ambiguity is only reinforced further in the closing shots which suggest everything may have been one big delusion.

While Peter is the instigator of the carnage, he’s simply another victim to his own probable paranoia and mental illness.


Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.