Expertise has superior lots within the nearly 40 years since they final made a film from Stephen King’s 1980 bestseller Firestarter. That’s dangerous information for the contemporised characters of this new adaptation, who’re one look at a smartphone away from being tracked down by way of geolocation, and for the audiences pressured to deal with the dreaded CG flames of our trendy period. When little pyrokinetic Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) lights a fuse along with her supernatural noggin, the inferno now explodes in shoddy digital ripples.
Every little thing about this Firestarter is drably televisual — an acceptable aesthetic for a thriller destined to be half-watched on a streaming service between revisits to The Workplace. A lot scarier than the movie’s exploitation of surveillance-state fears is the reminder that Zac Efron is now sufficiently old to play the daddy of a preteen. For her half, Armstrong brings a warmer mood to the position than Drew Barrymore did within the earlier model, sneering one-liners (“Liar, liar, pants on fireplace”) on the scientists she barbecues.
King’s story, removed from his greatest, made extra sense as a Nineteen Seventies hangover, a portrait of a household man feeling the unwanted effects of a decade reshaped by hallucinogens and Watergate. To that finish, it at the very least sounds era-appropriate: the throbbing synth rating comes courtesy of none aside from John Carpenter. Shut your eyes and you may nearly fake you’re watching a correct King adaptation, just like the killer-car basic Carpenter directed a lifetime in the past.