DVD Review: Lightning Bug

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  July 28, 2005 @ 6:40am

Filed under: Reviews

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.

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.

Tags: Lightning Bug, Laura Prepon, Kevin Gage, Ashley Laurence

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