Lightning Bug is one of those rare films that actually gets better as it goes along. It starts out as a run-of-the-mill coming of age story, but eventually finds the idiosyncrasies that separate it from the pack. It opens with Jenny Graves (Ashley Laurence), a single mom with two children, moving from Detroit to a trailer in Alabama. Flash forward several years, when her sons Green (Bret Harrison) and Jay (Lucas Till) are in their teen and pre-teen years respectively, dealing with mom's new husband Earl (Kevin Gage), who has all the charm of a rattlesnake.
For the first five minutes, the film feels like a low-budget remake of 8 Mile as we expect a drunken Kim Basinger to storm in shouting "What y'all doin' in my trailer?" Not helping matters are somewhat clunky dialogue, acting, and editing. For about 20 minutes we're introduced in this manner to Green's world, populated by cousin-lusting teens, hard-drinking man-children, and our hero's own dreams of creating monsters for horror films. But by the time that love interest Angevin (Laura Prepon, That '70s Show) is introduced, things take a turn for the more polished.
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