Stephen King is a master of horror cinema and an exceptional writer with a wealth of books that will be passed on to the next generation. Everything he writes about is sinister, yet engaging and entertaining. That’s why his book keeps getting adapted repeatedly. However, “Sinister” proves that maybe it’s time to invite an old school vision to grasp, process and translate what the new generation of filmmakers simply cannot.
Screenplay by Scott Teems and directed by Keith Thomas, “Firestarter” follows a young girl named Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) who must be protected from a secret government agency “The Shop” that wants to study and use her power for their own benefit. Her father Andy McGee (Zac Efron) finds himself on the run with his daughter after being hunted by John Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes), who will stop at nothing to locate his targets.
Charlie develops pyrokinesis. Her parents, Andy and Victoria (Sydney Lemmon) are aware of it, but haven’t started teaching her to control her dangerous powers. When she uses it in the school’s restroom by exploding the door, her parents realize they must find a shelter if they need to survive the manhunt. But nothing goes as planned, as the native-American bounty hunter is quite aware of Charlie’s and her parents’ abilities and is strong enough to capture all three of them.
With the old and classic novel by Stephen King, it always seems right to keep revisiting it, however, there’s something about this film that falls flat. It’s almost like they made no effort to make it worthwhile seeing at least one more time. The script does not try to give an authentic look to the film while the actors struggle to deliver. Nevertheless, the magnificent score composed by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davis stands out. It is one of those moments when you can tell, let me just see the film to hear the score, because that’s something you want to hear in action rather than playing it separately at home.
That being said, Bluumhouse’s “Firestarter” could have gotten a better chance of survival if not, once again, for the poorly written script. Nothing that is written matches the spirit of the book and cannot be compared to the 1980s version of “Firestarter”. It just captures once again how much we lack the sense of reality, good taste and the urge to exploit a well-known concept with no regard for it. I am not saying that “Firestarter” is a terrible film, but it’s not good either, And it’s such a shame since it had an excellent potential to thrive in Cinemas. But instead, it will be a quickly forgotten flick, as if it were never made.