Lightning Bug (2004) – Can Horror And Drama Coexist?

Yell! Magazine review of Lightning Bug (2004)

Just recently released on Blu-ray, Lightning Bug tells the story of the aspiring makeup artist Green Graves, played by Bret Harrison. The story is a fictionalized account of real-life makeup artist, and writer/director of Lightning Bug, Robert Hall (Makeup: Vacancy, Prom Night, Quarantine 1 and 2, The Crazies, Paranormal Activity 2, 3, and 4).

Truth be told, this isn’t really a horror film, although it is an underlying theme. First of all, we fans of the genre are often criticized and ridiculed for our slight obsession – cue the abusive stepfather. Second, we and the genre are accused of being less than holy, like we’re a bunch of pagan devil worshipers looking for our next virgin sacrifice – cue the love interests mother (and the rest of the bible thumping southern town). Thirdly, how many of us, whether we’re horror fans or metal fans, can relate to being holed up in our bedrooms, shutting out the world that doesn’t understand us?

Those are my justifications for covering this coming-of-age story, and I’m sticking to them.

Lightning Bug (2004)

Basically, we have Green, and he’s growing up in a shitty environment, with a shitty mother who’d rather drink and marry a shitty man for his shitty salary than work a shitty job to support her two kids. Green also lives in a shitty town that doesn’t understand him. He also has a couple of friends who are stereotypes of backwards southern America, but they at least support him.

Lightning Bug (2004)

The film progresses as we approach Halloween, and Green will finally have the chance to show the town what he can do with makeup at the local haunted house. His ultimate goal, however, is to get out of the town and head to Hollywood to start his career in makeup. Along the way he falls in love with Angevin Duvet, played by Laura Prepon (That ‘70s Show). Prepon also executive produced Lightning Bug, and back in 2004 it was a way for her to shed her character from That ‘70s Show.

Green has a lot of personal demons to face, but you’ll have to watch the film to know if he makes it out alive.

Lightning Bug Blu-ray Features:

Commentary: Director Robert Hall
Commentary: Director, Producer Lisa Waugh; Actors Laura Prepon and Ashley Laurence

Lightning Bug: Extended cut (with 5.1 DTS-HD MA or 5.1 Dolby Digital)

Featurette: Afterglow – A Look Back at Lightning Bug
Featurette: Luciferin – The Making of Lightning Bug

Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary from Robert Hall)

Kevin Kinney music video
Blu-ray trailer (2012)
Original trailer
Photo gallery
Animated menu and intro

The Verdict: [rating:3]

If you’re looking for something that’s slightly outside the horror genre, but not so far removed that you would be left Jonesing, then Lightning Bug comes highly recommended. While some plot points are extremely predictable, it’s still enjoyable and worth it to see how it all plays out in the end.

Rock Hard \m/

Lightning Bug (2004)
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
9 August 2005 (DVD premiere)
Robert Hall
Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, Kevin Gage
Drama, Horror
Official URL:

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