A drama/thriller, set in the south, about a young boy who longs to escape the misery of his childhood and the misunderstanding of his hometown. A gifted, self-taught, special effects make up artist, Green dreams of goi... more »ng to Hollywood to make his own monsters. But the real demons of Green's life threaten to hold him back: a drunken stepfather who terrorizes his mother, a group of religious fanatics who want to destroy his work, and the love of a girl who can't let go of small town life.« less
Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA Reviewed on 10/19/2011...
Lightning Bug is the touching but brutal story of a young man who moves with his mother to a small town in Alabama. They are starting over and she ends up hooking up with a brutal, violent redneck. The young man wants to escape this life and turns to a life of making his own horror movie special effects. Along the way, he meets a beautiful young woman (played by the lovely Laura Prepon) who wants to make a career for herself as an actress. He sees his ticket to freedom by making a haunted house to showcase his talents in the town, but will holy rollers and his evil stepfather crush his dreams? This is a powerful drama about love, tolerance, and having to make your own way in the world. Bret Harrison (the star of the television show Reaper) does an excellent job as the main character. And we get to see a topless Laura Prepon. Come on, fans of That 70's Show...don't tell me you don't want to see that? All in all, a great film!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Catching light and life in a bottle
Madelyn Pryor | Mesa, AZ United States | 11/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lightning Bug is a movie that is painful to watch, but only in a good way. The semi-autobiographical story of Robert Hall himself, this movie follows one young man's journey to find himself and perfect his art as everything around him is in a constant state of flux. However, life is rarely like Hollywood, and Hall makes no attempt to make this story a pat Hollywood `boy saves everyone and himself' story. Still, the characters themselves are very real, and the story is too compelling to rip yourself away from.
Both Bret Harrison and Laura Prepon give remarkable performances that show their range as actors. The directing and editing make the film fast paced and consuming.
Still, this isn't a feel good movie. It's someone's like told in naked and brutal detail and that's where the magic of this film lies.
Repressive Small Town Convictions in Good Coming of Age Film
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 08/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A hopeful future often travels together with the notion of dreams and aspirations. This is often depicted out of the perspective of youth seeking a direction on their journey through life. Often it is a difficult journey, which can even be harder to commence while parents, friends, and other people of various significance begin to affect the decisions of those who are coming of age. Lightening Bug touches on this very theme in a remarkably clever manner, as it deals with a young man's desire to leave his small Alabama home for a better life elsewhere.
A criminal suggestive opening leads the audience into think of why and who are the people involved in the scene. The identity and motive of the people involved in the wrongdoings are not revealed, but it leaves the audience wondering and thinking. These notions will leave audience's with an ominous sense of forthcoming trouble, but when and where remains unknown until the appropriate moment when the audience least expects it. The audience might have the ability to guess why and who is behind the suggestive opening. However, the director and writer Robert Hall delivers several situations in the film that continue to cloud the audience's judgment and logic to get a clear idea of who and why. This displays that Hall has thoughtfully put together an intriguing story for the audience.
Shortly after the troubling opening, the audience gets to witness Jenny Graves (Ashley Laurence), who many will recognize from Hellraiser (1987), arrive to Alabama from Detroit with her two sons. Jenny seems to have fled something, which is never revealed, as they arrive to their new home in rural Alabama. In addition, her older son Green wonders if they can go trick or treating, but Jenny informs her son that they have missed Halloween. This might suggest why Green later in his late teens has such a fond attachment to this frightful holiday and to horror.
The film quickly moves forward into the late adolescence of Green (Bret Harrison), as he turns 18 and has discovered that he has an artistic talent that he uses to create frightful creatures and other horrific creations. However, most people in his small town seem to be in complete disconnection with the world while Green has to face this ignorance on a daily basis. Oppression by an abusive stepfather and Christian persecution are some of the difficulties that Green has to struggle with while also thinking of his little brother and mother's well being. There are many chains that keep Green from beginning to bloom artistically while the greatest of them is misconception and ignorance of people in his environment.
In the woods outside Green's trailer home, he can find small lightening bugs that give him a chance to separate himself from the ignorance of the small town. It also allows him to play and have fun, which provides a chance for hopes and dreams. Green desires nothing else than to work in the film industry creating monsters and other horrific beasts to create a fright, or scare within the audience. However, can he break the chains that keep him in the small Alabamian town in which he grew up?
Lightening Bug is a small film that completely missed the theaters, but now is released on DVD. It is fortunate that some of these independent films get an opportunity to be seen, as this one delivers an amusing and intelligent story that deals with coming of age and the social pressures of being a teen. It also has a mild dose of existentialism, as it addresses the issue of choosing a direction in life. In one of the opening shots the audience can see a car chose a direction while approaching a fork in the road. This very scene could symbolize the importance of choosing the right path for oneself, as the individual will only have the opportunity to live the life of oneself. Thus, it is essential to seize the day, and live a life to the fullest while staying true to oneself. Lastly, the ill-omened opening continues to linger throughout the film, which adds another intriguing ingredient to the film."
I see demons everywhere!!!
Mark | Madison, Wisconsin | 01/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw this movie and I am still sitting here stunned. I loved this movie. It really brings together who really are the "demons" in one's life. Being raised with this mentality myself, and spending many hours in therapy to rationalize what had happened to my childhood, I can sympathize with anyone that goes through this kinda "torment" and celebrate thier freedom when they are out of it. This movie is very like real life and very believable to the last second. I recommend this movie to anyone that has had hopes and dreams to achieve with minimal support and finally gets what the person wanted. Achievement!!!!!"
satan | uncasville,ct | 08/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie was excellent i found it in the horror section,but it's not really a horror flick it's about a kid who's trying to get to hollywood to do effects for horror flicks,and shows all the troubles he has to endure before he trek's off to hollywood,it has the mood of a horror movie,but shows the real life horror's people have to go through,very engrossing i would watch over and over destined to be a cult classic for sure."