FIRESTARTER – Review by Susan Kamyab

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This 2022 of version Firestarter is just another flop to add to the list of Stephen King adaptations.

For those who haven’t seen the original 1984 film, the story follows a young couple and their 11-year-old daughter, Charlie. Due to some past lab experiments, the three of them carry telekinetic type powers. Charlie’s parents have learned to control theirs, but as she is getting older, she is unable to contain her sudden burst of flames triggered by anger. But that’s the least of this family’s problems, as a mysterious federal agent is on the hunt to take Charlie away from her parents.

I’m not sure where to start with this film, because there’s sadly, not a whole lot of good. I’ll say Zac Efron as Charlie’s dad, Andy, is okay, and Ryan Keira Armstrong, who plays Charlie does a fine job. But everyone else seems uninterested in putting that much effort in a cheesy and dull horror remake.
From begin to end the film never ignites a big enough flame. The introduction of the family is rushed, which makes it a struggle to care about any of them or even believe their “loving bond”. The villains are extremely bland and not villainess enough. The dialogue is corny, and the screenplay lacks excitement and intrigue.

The original film isn’t necessarily much better, but for its time you can excuse it as a fun horror. This new version is lacking fun and humor that could have been beneficial had director, Keith Thomas and writer, Scott Teems gone for a campier route when retelling this story. Or they actually could have tried to make it scary. Needless to say, “Firestarter” sparks a very dim light and may only interest die hard Stephen King fans.

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Susan Kamyab

Susan Kamyab is a Dallas-based television and online film critic, producer, reporter, and writer. Since 2010 she's been reviewing for Irving Television (ICTN) and online at