“Firestarter” deserves to be burned


The remake of “Firestarter” was released to theaters and Peacock on May 13, and it’s a generic piece of boring horror. The story is about a young girl named Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) and her father Andy (Zac Efron) who are on the run from a scientific organization called the “Shop” that is trying to capture them and examine their powers. Charlie controls heat and can make things catch fire. 

This beautiful Stephen King novel has been turned into a movie twice, once in 1984 and again with this terrible remake. The first film didn’t receive that positive of a reaction from its audience and the few good comments are mainly about its notable actors, such as Drew Barrymore, who played Charlie. None of this was a surprise, of course, because turning a book like “Firestarter” into a movie requires a lot of special effects, which we can assume was hard to do in the 80s.

It’s only safe to assume that this new movie is meant to redeem the old film that was released. The sad thing is that the movie only made the original worse. The movie wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t good. The CGI looks believable enough, the atmosphere in the film isn’t that bad, the actors seem OK and the movie somewhat follows the original story. 

Sadly, this movie still fell flat.

The problem is that “Firestarter” just can’t be adapted into a movie because we can never get enough horror. Making a story about a little girl who has powers into something that is deemed horror without making it cringey is extremely hard. The main issue is that the movie was boring. There wasn’t enough emotion poured into the scenes or script, which then just made the entire film a waste of time. 

If I had never read the book and randomly decided to watch this movie hoping for a good scare, I would think badly of the film and book without knowing how great the book was.

Something  I think would have made the movie better is keeping the “flashback timeline” from the book. I know it’s hard to make flashbacks flow nicely with scenes happening in the present, but it has been done before and it’s one of the key aspects that makes the book enjoyable. You learn things as the current events progress and both timelines give you action and something to look forward to. Unlike the book, however, the movie did not nail the time-switches. 

All in all, let blasts from the past stay in the past. Sometimes things can’t be redeemed. Just because it’s cool to try things out doesn’t mean that you have to butcher a solid horror novel.