“Fire torch”. There is no fire in it

The first “Firestarter” version of 1984 – filmed shortly after Kubrick’s “The Shining”, Cronenberg’s “Dead Zone” and in the same year as Fritz Kirsch’s “Children of the Corn” “So Bad It Good” – isn’t, in particular. Moderate, among the best adapted books from the master of horror, despite the fact that the cast included Drew Barrymore, with the success of Spielberg’s “ET”, as well as Martin Sheen and George C. Scott. John CarpenterWho, after all, might have made a great “Christine” based on King a year ago. However, Carpenter had a financial failure on “Something” in 1982, spoiling his chances of filming “Burn On Deliberately.” Ironically, “Something” was recognized years later as a masterpiece of cult horror and science fiction. Everyone forgot about arson.

The creators of the new version of “Firestarter” considered this fatal mistake and invited John Carpenter to collaborate. The 74-year-old director hasn’t made a movie in twelve years, although he’s given the blessing to remake (a combination of reboot and sequel) “Halloween” David Gordon Green, while also writing music for him. at “deliberate fire” As of 2022, Carpenter (with their son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davis) plays the composer. Electronic music played on synthesizers is magnetic and resonates with the power of Carpenter’s lesser known horror films, such as “Vampire Hunter” (1998). It gives the movie an unforgettable atmosphere. Carpenter’s music is the best component of Firefighter. Although the new adaptation of King’s book is much better than the dirty version of 1984, due to the lack of original elegance, it will stand next to the average performances of the master of horror.

Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) are hiding from government agencies linked to the CIA that once subjected them to mysterious experiments. They spiral out of control and the couple is infected with supernatural powers, which later pass on to their daughter Charlie (Ryan Keira Armstrong). Charlie, under the influence of strong emotions, can set fire to everything in her surroundings. In addition, she inherited telekinesis and telepathy from her parents, but she cannot control this highly explosive combination. The agency called The Store in the book decides to eliminate Andy and Vicki, and Charlie will become the guinea pig. This looks like One of the many series created in the wave of success “Weird things”? Yes, of course. This is my biggest problem with this adaptation.

King’s novel, published in 1980, was part of Cold War cinema. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Reagan right-wing counter-revolution, a hot tide was coming. The cinema of the 1980s was full of such content, although King’s anti-government and conspiracy themes fit into the pessimistic spirit of 1970s America, wracked by defeat in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. Today, in pop culture, the retro atmosphere of the 80s is revived, which is most clearly seen in “Stranger Things”. It’s just that the Dover Brothers’ postmodern series is set in that era, and the creators deliberately manipulate the styles of ’80s cinema. The Arsonists’ work has been carried over into the modern era, but the spirit of the Cold War remains. This is actually not a new adaptation of the book, but a faithful rework of the 1984 movie.

Surprisingly a director of a very original horror movie “Night Vigil” (2019) Keith Thomas hasn’t decided to take “Firestarter” to another level and play with tradition, like Andy Muschietti in the adaptation “This is amazing” (2017-2019). He can also spark imagination, like Brian de Palma in his masterpiece based on King “curry” (1976). “Firestarter” is a powerfully shot horror movie with good acting and atmosphere. It is made only from all the well-known plot patterns and solutions, which have been milled in various ways in the past three decades. A rebellious superhero fighting with his creator? A superhero who hates his superpowers? After all, in the world of Marvel and DC mods, this topic has also been addressed! In the Age of Avengers, King’s novel was covered in dust.

If a new version of “Firestarter” has already been scheduled, then it should be portrayed by a brave fan of the genre who will not be afraid of experiments with King’s novel. The 90-minute film is like a pilot episode of the Netflix series, which ends – by genre rules – at its most interesting moment. Maybe adding more chapters is a way to memorize this story? After all, Stephen King allowed such crazy things based on elements of his being, for example in the series “Castle Rock”. Or maybe some of King’s modifications simply fit a specific decade of the 20th century and shouldn’t be revitalized?


“arsonist” (Firesterter), dir. Keith Thomas, USA 2022, Distributor: UIP, Theater premiere: May 13, 2022

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