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FIRESTARTER an Sci-Fi Horror Flick




Review by John Delia

An experiment gone badly, the action horror flick Firestarter, a remake of Stephen King’s book of the same title, comes to the big screen a second time. The story that was his first stab at super powers characters, works well in his novel. Translated for the screen however, even with the addition of computer graphics special effects, it fails to provide the energy, acting and storytelling of the 1984 release. Both films actually don’t really show the power of the great writer and fall way short of some of King’s greats like Carrie, The Shining and Christine to name a few.

(from left) Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) and Andy (Zac Efron) in Firestarter, directed by Keith Thomas. From Universal Pictures

For those of you who have not seen the original, the film centers on Charlie McGee (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), a youngster with multiple defensive superpowers. Born from Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) and Andy McGee (Zac Efron) who were the subjects of an experimental lab, Charlie has learned to control her powers up to now. Being bullied at school has aroused the ire that makes her a human blow torch and it concerns her parents. When the corporation that owns the lab finds that Charlie has stirred up the small community in which the McGee’s live, they send out a team to kill the family.

John Beasley as Irv Manders in Firestarter, directed by Keith Thomas. From Universal Pictures

Firestarter has been rated R by the MPAA for violent content. Some scenes may be a bit harsh for pre-teens, so be sure you approve before letting them attend a showing. It is now streaming on Peacock and theaters. The film moves along slowly adding characters with hardly any build up and action on its way to the fiery finale.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Charlie in Firestarter, directed by Keith Thomas. from Universal Pictures

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Gloria Reuben, Kurtwood Smith, Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes
Directed By: Keith Thomas
Writer: Novel by Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R for violent content
Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.
Opening Date: May 13, 2022
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Released in: Theaters and Peacock

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