Blumhouse making a Stephen King adaptation! That right there is my perfect combination when it comes to horror as I am a massive fan of both. However, I have to be honest and say that while I liked the original 80s Firestarter, it has never been one of my favorite Stephen King stories.
How to Stream or Download Firestarter
You will be able to stream or download the film from Peacock TV. Click on the Download button at the end of this review to check the current availability. If you like movies based on the work of Stephen King, check out our reviews of It, It Chapter Two, Pet Semetary, or The Dark Tower.
The Movie Review
Still, with Blumhouse making this, I had very high hopes for a new take on this classic King story. The movie has a solid cast with Zac Efron, Sydney Lemmon, and phenomenal child actress, Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the titular role. The family dynamic at play here was done very well and I think that all three of our leads worked well together.
The story here is near enough a straight retelling of the original. We have a family that consists of dad Andy, mom Vickey, and an 11-year-old daughter, Charlie. What makes this family different is that mom and dad were experimented on by a shady agency called The Shop which gave them superpowers.
Andy has telepathy abilities that allow him to make people do what he wants and Vicky has telekinesis abilities. Charlie not only has the powers her mom and dad have; she also has the power to shoot fire or even just make something instantly combust! This kind of power in an emotionally troubled 11-year-old kid is not a good thing.
The family manages to get away from The Shop and the basis of the movie is them on the run trying to protect Charlie and get her powers under control. The main difference here from the original is Vicky, she plays a much bigger role here and I think that the family dynamic in the movie is better as a result.
Of course, The Shop is not just going to let them waltz away and they send John Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes) after them. John Rainbird has powers of his own and is a “fixer” for The Shop. He is a pretty interesting character and truth be told the only interesting villain in the entire movie. As much as I liked him, I do think that they could have done more to develop his character.
If you have seen the original Firestarter, you pretty much know what to expect here. I think that the special effects are good and that the movie is a decent watch. However, it just never gets out of second gear and it plays it way too safe. I think that they should have tried something different here with the story to make it stand out more from the 1984 original.
The acting performances are solid and I do not think that the actors could have done anything more to make this movie any better. I swear that Zac Efron just gets better and better in everything and Ryan Kiera Armstrong could have an amazing acting career ahead of her. They just did not have the best material in the world to work with which is a real shame.
I try to go and see every Blumhouse movie in the theatre with my wife. We both love Blumhouse and are huge Stephen King fans, but this adaptation never really lit a fire under us… sorry for the terrible pun. It is not a terrible movie, but I would not say it is worth making the effort of going to the theatre to watch, you are better waiting for this to hit one of the streaming services.
- I liked how the mom had a bigger role
- The family dynamic of this family with powers was interesting
- With more development, I think that John Rainbird could have been pretty awesome
- There are some impressive special effects
- The story really has not evolved much from the original
- It just feels like a very average movie in pretty much every regard