Today’s version of Firestarter is the second go-round for this theme.
- This production is by Blumhouse
- Director Kieth Thomas is not a well-known director, and that’s not likely to change with this movie
- Zac Efron is the best known me associated with this film
- 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong plays the role Drew Barrymore played in 1984
- Read more...
Beyond a couple of nuggets for movie goers, the movie lacks anything of interest
"Firestarter" first came to the screen in 1984. Today's version marks the second go-round for this Stephen King inspired theme. This production comes from Blumhouse, a brand known for inexpensive but crowd-pleasing horror flicks.
Director Kieth Thomas has only one other directorial credit, "Vigil." Blumhouse also produced that film. Not many people saw his first film, a tradition that will undoubtedly be continued with "Firestarter." Zac Efron has the most famous name associated with this version of "Firestarter." He began his career with a role on the short-lived if now-classic TV series "Firefly." He has some sixty-five credits from "The Lucky One" to "Baywatch." Zac plays the father of the pyrokinetic young girl in the title role.
Fans may recognize John Beasley, an experienced actor with sixty-eight credits, and Canadian actress Gloria Rubin. Rubin has worked in TV and films.
We know the story. Our question is, 'can Blumehouse' give us an honest horror experience for our money?
The 1984 original brought a pack of famous actors to the screen. Drue Barrymore had the title role. Heather Locklear played her mom. Also helping out, we had Martin Sheen, George C. Scott, Art Carney, and Louise Fletcher. Can a cast with yeoman actors but not famous ones make a better movie?
Nope. Twelve-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong does as well as an actress of her age and experience can do. Just for her, the movie gets an entire sawblade.
And there are several dramatic shots of the young pyrokineticist, her hair blowing and flames billowing around her. I thought that was cool. It isn't original in the least, but still cool.
But beyond those two nuggets of goodness, the movie lacks anything of interest. It is not frightening, a real problem in a horror flick. We get a slight sense of impending and inevitable doom, but not enough. The film adds nothing to the canon, so no points for originality. We get treated to no mind-bending plot twists. In fact, we get what, at best, we can call a plodding journey from here to there, no scares, no fun, and nothing exciting to watch.
"Firestarter" will attract only Stephen King fans who must see every iteration of his books in film.
"Firestarter runs for a quick one hour and thirty-four minutes. The R-rated horror feature gets a barely smoldering two sawblades.
Young star Ryan Kiera Armstrong also had a role in the Steven King-inspired "It.”