I hadn’t realized it until it was pointed out, but Firestarter hadn’t really been promoted much. I had made it a point to watch the 80s adaptation but also to read the novel. As a Stephen King fan with ample time, I wanted to make sure that I was full prepared for the new adaptation when it came out. I don’t entirely know what I was hoping for with this new adaptation, but I can say wholeheartedly that this was not what I was hoping for.
It was directed by Keith Thomas and written by Scott Teems. It also says that it was based on the novel by the same name by Stephen King. I say that because of how it was written. Any part of the novel that was even the slightest bit hopeful was made cynical. This is an incredibly cynical movie. Some cynicism is understandable but the shift to complete cynicism didn’t work in favor of the movie. That’s not to mention the major changes to several of the characters, which played into the shift the story had.
The cast of Firestarter is underutilized. It stars Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben. Efron plays a surprisingly great father in the movie. He was probably the biggest surprise in the cast. Armstrong plays this version of Charlie really well. Michael Greyeyes is terrifying as this version of Rainbird, which is more akin to a slasher or the terminator. Both Smith and Beasley seem to have only been cast because who they are. Both roles could have been played by other actors it would have had the same effect.
Most of the effects in the movie are amazing. I say most because there are moments where they’re combined with close ups, and they look kind of comical. The amount of fire stunts in this movie is pretty insane and they’re done amazingly. There also looked to be some practical effects and they’re combined with CG to give it all that little extra bit. The music is amazing. I would expect nothing less from John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies. I have yet to be disappointed by any of the music that they’ve made.
Firestarter is an adaptation that takes a turn to cynicism and just smolders and never catches fire. The ending of the movie is one of the worst sequel bate endings I’ve seen in some time. I don’t imagine that it will be getting the sequel that it so desperately wants. I also imagine that they knew it wasn’t going to be well received and that’s why the didn’t promote it as heavily as they could have. If you really want to see Firestarter, you can watch it on Peacock. I give Firestarter 4 red hoodies out of 10.