The first adaptation, it was almost forty years ago by Drew Barrymore, and the novel “Charlie” by Stephen King is again transposed to the screen. Directed by Keith Thomas, director of “The Vigil”, the feature film, unfortunately, does not equal its predecessor…
2020 is the year of consecration for Keith Thomas who is noticed with The Vigil, his first feature film, in which a young man short of money accepts to watch over a corpse during a wake in a Brooklyn house. But increasingly terrifying phenomena occur throughout this interminable and nightmarish night…
2022 is Firestarter, which marks the new collaboration between the director and producer Jason Blum (Get Out, The Visit, Invisible Man). The film centers on young Charlie McGee (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), who has been endowed with the power of pyrokinesis since birth. During their college years, her parents Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) were the guinea pigs for a serum developed by scientist Joseph Wanless (Kurtwood Smith) for a mysterious federal agency.
His wish is to be able to control the child’s extraordinary potential. They send a man with abilities similar to hers to kidnap her. The situation turns dramatic and Charlie, separated from her parents and unable to control her gift, goes on a rampage… Michael Greyeyes, John Beasley and Gloria Reuben complete the cast of this adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Charlie, published in 1980 and less known than some classics such as Christine, Shining, Cujo, Carrie or Simetierre.
It had already been brought to the screen in 1984 by Mark L. Lester (Commando, Class 1984). Starring Drew Barrymore, Charlie benefited from the presence of the young actress, much more convincing than Ryan Kiera Armstrong, who succeeded her in the title role.
It was an adaptation more in line with the book, the feature film also took the time to develop the relationship between the little girl and the fearsome killer John Rainbird, almost absent from Keith Thomas’ version. The great George C. Scott embodied this character, both cruel and endearing, which was one of the major qualities of the film. Martin Sheen, Freddie Jones, Louise Fletcher, Art Carney and Heather Locklear made up the rest of the cast, against which one of the retellings, unfortunately, does not make the weight.
Unfortunately, Firestarter does not stand out at all because of its weak and repetitive direction. There is obviously fire and a little blood, but it is unfortunately not enough. However, there is still the soundtrack composed by the Master of horror John Carpenter, once again accompanied by his son Cody and Daniel Davies, the main interest of this anecdotal project, a thousand miles away from Shining, Carrie at the Devil’s Ball as well as the recent Ça and Doctor Sleep.