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In the independent drama "Lightning Bug", Bret Harrison stars as Green
Graves, a tormented dreamer whose only aspiration is to become a horror
film makeup artist. Graves struggle to reach his goal is plagued by his
unlucky mother, Jenny (Ashley Laurence) and his new highly abusive
stepfather, Earl (Kevin Gage). But Graves does everything in his power
to keep dreaming and to help that dream stay alive is his girlfriend
and amateur actor, Angevin Duvet (Laura Prepon).
"Lighting Bug" is a relentless drama about one boy's struggle to overcome his abusive surroundings. Everything from his alcoholic stepfather, hopeless mother and white trash surroundings are all key plot points to keep this boy in check. What is strange about this film is that it is being marketed as a horror film when really it's an unforgiving drama.
The best part of this film is the stalwart performance by Bret Harrison, who is a relative newcomer to film. He has so much emotion and personal depth in a lot of scenes. He is a great find. I will look forward to seeing more from this kid.
I have always liked Ashley Laurence and her portrayal of a lost white-trash single mother is captivating and so unforgiving that I often forgot it was her.
Another thing I really liked was the film's original music from singer-songwriter Kevn Kinney. It brought so much extra flavor to the film.
The biggest problem with the film is that it never lets up. It is just so depressing and relentless the audience is never allowed to breathe or laugh. I also really got annoyed with the sub-plot involving Laura Prepon's character's mother. This is such a tedious subplot to create even more conflict for the boy. He gets enough at home.
If you happen to see this film, enjoy the performance of Bret Harrison but prepare for a very bumpy and dark ride. (3 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer (firstname.lastname@example.org) DVD Details: "Lightning Bug" will be released from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment on August 9. The DVD features 2 audio commentaries with director Robert Hall and one featuring Ashley Laurence and Laura Prepon. The DVD also includes a music video from Kevn Kinney and some deleted scenes. The DVD itself is smartly packaged and it is amazing how much extra stuff there is here for such an independent film.
Lightning Bug is an amazingly honest movie that touched me in more ways than one and I hope everyone gets a chance to see it. The cast is phenomenal and includes talents such as Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, Kevin Gage, Ashley Laurence, and Hal Sparks just to name a few. Robert Hall brings to life the very real issues of domestic violence and chasing your dreams no matter what people say. It immediately captures the audience's attention and holds it until the end. The music fits in perfectly with each scene and actually adds an extra element. The film allows you to laugh, cry, and cheer throughout pulling from the audience a whole spectrum of emotions. I definitely recommend this movie.
I picked this one up at the video store because Prepon is on the cover, and being a huge That '70's Show fan I like to see other stuff that the cast is in. I was glad I did get it as it was very well acted by everyone in the film. The characters were very believable whether it was a psycho religious mom or a redneck teenager. The story was pretty simple and in this case that's not a bad thing. I also found it interesting that Prepon was exec. producer. I think anybody that has or has had aspirations of getting out of their hometown to make it the entertainment industry will relate to this movie on some level. It also goes to show that you shouldn't overlook a DVD on the shelf of the movie store just because it hasn't had a big theatrical release.
I had the honor of seeing Lightning Bug a couple of months ago. It is a
movie that has it all. It is beautifully written and directed by the very
talented, Mr. Robert Hall. It is wonderfully acted by such stars as Bret
Harrison, Laura Prepon and Hal Sparks, to just name a few.
A must see for any person who has ever had a dream and strived to achieve that dream. Green (Bret Harrison) has a dream. To leave this small rural town and make it big in Hollywood. Designing and building monsters for television/movies. This story is about his hard work, dedication and loyalty to his dream, regardless of the "monsters" in that small town trying to stop him. Will he make it? Will he and his newfound love, Angevin, leave the town and all the monsters behind?
I bought this imported DVD misguided in its genre. I was expecting a
horror movie, based on the cover of the DVD, and the sentence: "The
Most Frightening Monsters Are All Around Us" highlighted in the back.
However, "Lightning Bug" is a powerful coming-to-age suspenseful drama,
with an excellent direction and acting. It is difficult to highlight
individual performances, since I would be unfair with this stunning
cast. However, the sick and disgusting devoted character of Ms. Duvet,
magnificently played by Shannon Eubanks, irritated me with her
hypocrite life and behavior. The Region 1 DVD has a beautiful package
and many features, but unfortunately it does not have English subtitles
or closed caption. The accent of some characters of this small Alabama
town where the story takes place is quite difficult to be understood by
a foreigner, and I lost some words along the story. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Not Released"
A woman (Ashley Laurence) and her 2 kids leave Detroit to go live in a trailer in a small town. One of her sons, Green (Bret Harrison), aspires to become a special FX artist for horror films as well as the boyfriend of local video rental goth girl (Laura Prepon.) Mom has a bit of a drinking problem and a new boyfriend who likes to beat up on everyone, but the local religious zealots may prove to be an even bigger obstacle standing in the way of Green's dreams. "Lightning Bug" is an intense coming-of-age drama that will stay with you long after you eject it from your player. Ashley Laurence is terrific and almost unrecognizable here, channeling Mary Louise Parker southern gal from "Fried Green Tomatoes." Look for a "wink-wink" to horror fans where Laurence's character is grocery shopping and picks up a Fango with Pinhead on the cover for her kid.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was seeing "Lightning Bug" at the suggestion of Ashely Laurence, whom
I met at a horror convention. I had a hard time finding this movie for
rent in my small town until recently. I guess since it wasn't a big
film they didn't order 100 copies of it since it wasn't spider man 8.
I absolutely loved this film. Seeing Ashley do a Drama was amazing! Known for being Kirsty Cotton in Hellraiser, Ashley has deeper talent than just this role of the scream queen of the Hellraiser series. They pay Homage to Hellraiser II in the film. She plays a southern Mom who has a bad habit of drinking a bit much and getting involved with the wrong men. Ashley was so convincing I was heart broken by her characters attempts to better her life. Her southern accent was very convincing. Bret Harrison plays Green Graves, a boy who's talent just doesn't fit his small town. Beyond those monsters he's battling with those at home too. Everything seems stacked against him but, his family loves him even though he is a bit different than they are. Laura Prepon, famous for the TV series that 70's show, plays Angevin Duvet. Her home is no different than her love interests and she needs to deal with her personal demons as well.
The acting was wonderful. It was great to see Laura Prepon outside her TV acing and doing it so well. She looked beautiful as the small outcast/Goth looking chick..grrrrr. Her character reminded me of those times when someone said, do you really think their life is so good you'd like to be them? Angevin and Green were complete opposites but were meant to be.
I tried not to include a spoiler but... The film had me in tears at the end. I want to know what happens to Green and his brother, if he ever found out about Angevin's secret she seemed to hold from him. If she continued on with her life or waited for him. Did Green make it? The film seems a bit incomplete just for this reason. It kills me to not know the exact reason she makes the choice she does. I took this film very personal. I love horror movies and I'm a horror movie lover like Green. I also love real down to earth dramas such as this film. I never imagined a drama with someone so similar. Greens life is a lot harder and he's a fighter. I can identify with his desire. Although I'm quite different. It really crept into my emotions like this.
The filming also seemed a bit strange. There were a few parts in the movie they show flashbacks to give you a perspective they decided not to give away. They start with this theme in the beginning and continue throughout the film. I didn't take it the way they meant. It seemed as if the movie stopped and I thought something broke on my set up at home. I really wish this was done differently.
"Lightning Bug" is a film that will be highly underrated and should be on you to do list to go and see right away. I've not seen a better down to earth drama like this in a long time. It also combats the stereotype that all horror film obsessed boys are satanists. Very personal and direct, "Lighting Bug" is about personal demons and the boy who has to defeat them to continue his talent to create them. I'd give it an 8 out of 10. This move is a grade A+ quality film.
Robert Hall makes his debut as a writer/director with one of the most moving and genuinely entertaining films to hit the big screen this year. This is no Hollywood production, and thank goodness for that. Who needs Hollywood hacks when you have REAL talent. From the semi-autobiographical story of a young man overcoming incredible obstacles to realize his dream, to the amazing ensemble cast, this film will capture your mind and your heart. And don't expect an unrecognizable cast. You'll see many familiar faces here, and performances that may both surprise and amaze you. Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, and Hal Sparks are just a few of this film's finest attributes. Coming soon (hopefully!) to a film festival near you! And if the sell-out crowds at the Philadelphia Film Fest are any indication, distributors should be lining up to get this film into theaters all over the country.
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
I have known about this film for many years, being a serious horror fan and thus a fan of both Robert Hall and Ashley Laurence (both very nice people, by the way). Not until now, with the Blu-Ray release, did I finally get around to checking it out.
Robert Hall impresses. How much of this is autobiographical and how much is not is hard to say -- I suspect it is much more dramatic than the real story. But it works here, and is legitimately frightening in a way that horror films are not -- abuse is a serious fear for many people. Spousal abuse and child abuse are sadly all too real.
The religious aspect I am uncertain about. There are obviously religious people in the South, and I think the film did a good job by showing that not everyone in town thinks Halloween is Satanic (the line for the haunted house is pretty long). I wish they had explained more about how the church was or was not Bible-based...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film really touched my heart. Robert Hall is a genius. I feel they really underrated this movie. Especially naming the genre horror when it's clearly not a horror. It's definitely a drama. What are people thinking. Even Netflix has improper categorization. Too bad more people haven't discovered this film. It's truly amazing! I'd like to see Robert direct more dramas and comedy films. I haven't yet seen this movie on cable and it's really hard to find in stores. I hope this changes soon. The cast was incredible. It reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel like I'm not alone. This being a true story of Robert Halls life makes me see that not all celebrities have it easy. He worked his way up from the very bottom. This man deserves more out there. He's one of the best! Good luck Robert. I hope to see another drama directed from you soon. Thank you! - Your fan
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