Okay, let’s start at the begging. Firestarter (2022) is based on Stephen King’s 1980 classic novel. In the film, for more than a decade, parents Andy (Zac Efron; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Greatest Showman) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon; Fear the Walking Dead, Succession) have been on the run, desperate to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong; American Horror Story: Double Feature, The Tomorrow War) from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction.
To be blunt, when the news first arrived that a new reboot/new adaptation of Stephen King’s Firestarter was headed our way, I was skeptical. Let’s be honest remakes/reboots/reimagining usually suck. So I didn’t expect much. But I am here to tell you that I actually enjoyed it. I know, I’m shocked too.
The casting is great and Zac Efron actually pulls off playing a dad, which is a role I would have never have thought to put him in. When I think of Efron, his more goofy roles come to mind. But seriously, he nailed it. However, the real star of this movie is young actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong who at just 12 years old gives a performance far beyond her years. This kid’s got something “special.”
Okay, there are a few minor differences between the new movie and the original, but I have to say, in my opinion, this movie is an improvement. Sure, a lot of it has to do with the special effects which have made major strides since 1984 original was made. And yes, the effects are fantastic. But it’s more than that, Firestarter (2022) feels more intense somehow. I can’t quite put my finger on how, but it does.
People will have different opinions on what Firestarter is really about, from family to government control, I see it as a message of empowerment to women/girls of all ages and we just don’t get enough of those. Charlie is just a kid but she’s taking control over her life, her power. That’s a great message. It’s something we all strive to do as women.
When it comes to director Keith Thomas, a filmmaker you are going to want to watch, all I can say is bravo. Everything from the acting to the effects to the scenery all comes together to create a movie I think every King fan will appreciate. There have been so many film adaptations of King’s work over the years, Firestarter will introduce a new generation to the king of written horror. And that is such an amazing thing.
So, my verdict? And I know some people are probably going to come for me after I say this, but Firestarter (2022) is better than the original and it’s a pretty solid adaptation. It’s a good movie filled with horror, heartache, and a lot of destruction. And guess what, you can watch it for yourself right now in theaters or exclusively streaming on Peacock. Be sure to enter our Firestarter T-shirt giveaway! Why are you still here? Go watch it!