I saw the ending of Firestarter way back like twenty years ago but I had never really had the chance to see all of it. I thought that with the new adaptation coming out I would see the rest of the movie. I really enjoyed the movie, and I was surprised to see that it wasn’t that well received when it came out. That shouldn’t surprise me because outside of certain adaptations King adaptations aren’t well received. I learned something about this adaptation from the one that’s coming out this year.
I learned that John Carpenter was originally going to direct Firestarter but after The Thing bombed Universal went with a different director. Mark L. Lester ended up being the director that was went with. Lester chose Stanley Mann to adapt King’s novel into a script. I’ve seen several of Lester’s movies but have seen only one movie that Mann has written. I don’t know how much was changed from the novel, but I think the movie itself was enjoyable. It holds up surprisingly well almost forty years after its release.
The movie was kind of sold on Drew Barrymore since she was front and center on the poster. Outside of Ms. Barrymore the only other person that I knew was in this was David Keith. The biggest surprises for me were seeing Heather Locklear and George C. Scott. Scott was surprisingly sinister and was completely unsettling. Martin Sheen being in the movie was a surprise to me as well, since he was in The Dead Zone another King adaptation. Freddie Jones, Art Carney, and Louise Fletcher round out the cast too. Fletcher was a surprise to me as well but that’s mostly because her character is nurturing. That’s the exact opposite of the character that I know her best from.
The effects in the movie are still pretty good. All of the practical effects look amazing after all of these years. The visual effects look a little goofy but aren’t terrible, they just look incredibly dated. The stunt team in the movie did some insane stuff, all of it fire based. There are so many fire stunts that you could just watch them and be entertained. The score was done by Tangerine Dream and its honestly great. The music is creepy and offers plenty of unsettling atmosphere to the movie. I can only imagine that the score for the new one will be even more so because John Carpenter is doing it.
Firestarter is an incredibly enjoyable movie that has a lot of heart. While I’ve not read the novel yet I plan on changing that as soon as I can. I hope to do that before the new movie comes out so that I can have a better idea of what everything is based on. I also wanted to make sure to see this while I knew that I would be able to see it. Firestarter leaves HBO Max at the end of the month. I give Firestarter 8.5 teddy bears out of 10.