Based on the Stephen King novel, ‘Firestarter‘ the sci-fi thriller is directed by Keith Thomas based on a screenplay by Scott Teems. Jason Blum co-produced it and made it via Blumhouse. The movie was released to theaters by Universal Pictures and would go on the be released on their Peacock streaming service.
Andy McKee (Zac Efron) and his wife Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) are raising their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) in a quiet small town. The two of them are telepathic while their kid is a pyro. They are on the run from a shadowy government organization. After Charlie creates a fire at school, Captain Jane Hollister (Gloria Reuben) hears about it and sends retired bounty hunter John Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes) after them. When the first attempt fails, Hollister gets advice from Dr. Joseph Wanless (Kurtwood Smith) who tells her to put them down. As they go on the run, Charlie must learn to control her powers.
Honesty time, I have not read the book so I cannot compare it as an adaption. At the time of writing this, have I not seen the 1984 movie, so I cannot analyze it as a remake.
Everyone in the cast did a decent job so I cannot complain about their performances. Efron has definitely shown his talent and Armstrong was the perfect pick to portray Charlie. No one delivered a standout performance, but everyone did a solid job.
The first twenty minutes are not bad. It does a good job of setting up the film and the characters in their predicament, luring you in. You genuinely feel for the family as we are shown their past and why they are in hiding. It would have been good if they had kept up the momentum.
After those moments, the movie has a jarring tonal change that slows down the plot. Even though it was not a long movie, it felt so slow which was only exasperated by the fact it is so bland. It becomes so vanilla which is not a good look for a horror flick. I got bored and had trouble paying attention which is disappointing for a thriller.
Like I said, I have not read the books but I have a feeling this will be added to the long list of film adaptions that Stephen King does not approve of.
Bottom line, Firestarter has some decent performances and a good setup, but it failed to capitalize on it. From there, it descends into mediocrity and is not a bit scary.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul language, Disturbing scenes
FAVORITE QUOTE: Burn it down.
Check out the trailer below:
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