Review by Lauryn Angel
I haven’t read Stephen King’s Firestarter or seen the Drew Barrymore film for years, so I went into this remake with a basic memory of the story and no real expectations. Okay, that’s not quite true – I didn’t think Zac Efron would be believable as the dad of an eleven-year-old, let alone an eleven-year-old pyrokinetic. And while Efron made a decent Andy McGee, the rest of the movie was only so-so.
Don’t get me wrong: there were some fun things about this remake, like the score composed by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel A. Davies, which gave the film classic ‘80s horror movie vibes. And Ryan Kiera Armstrong – who gave me the creeps in last year’s American Horror Story – is great as Charlie, especially when she’s angry. This is enough to make the movie good, but not great.
Animal lovers should be warned that there is a rather graphic animal death – I know, it’s a horror movie, but somehow the animal deaths are always worse, aren’t they? There are a couple of other graphic scenes involving – you guessed it – burned flesh, but very little gore otherwise.
Mostly, this film made me want to rewatch the 1984 film, or even read the book again. Aside from the great soundtrack, this remake doesn’t really add anything to the story, and the updated special effects aren’t enough to merit the effort. My advice is to skip this one. But do check out the soundtrack!
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