Considering that the new adaptation of “firestarter” brings together the undisputed talent of novelist Stephen King to capture the humanity behind the horrors of his stories along with the modern cinematic sensibility of Blumhouse, the production house responsible for “Get Out,” “The Invisible Man” and the new series of films from “Halloween”, surprising that the end result is so disappointing.
The only thing that is effective in this versionwhich premiered in theaters in Puerto Rico this Thursday, is the quality of the special effects and a new soundtrack by John Carpenter that alludes to a melancholy and suspense that just aren’t on screen.
The new version of the story of Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), a girl who long before reaching puberty has to deal with the fact that she has the power to burn anything with her mind, does not displace “Fantasy Island” as the production most disastrous of Blumhouse. Still, it’s frustrating how Scott Teems’ script consistently creates the space to delve into the Stephen King material and then chooses to stay on the surface.
The other thing that is inexplicable is because with visual effects infinitely superior to previous adaptations, the film does not give the public a climax of greater impact and scale.
The details of Charlie’s story remain the same, although this time the film begins a little before the protagonist and her father have to flee from a secret government organization that wants to study the girl’s powers.
Instead of spending more time on the central characters, the script chooses to allude to another King creation. The sequences of Charlie handling the abuse of his classmates at school register as another variation of Carrie. The other thing that happens in this section is that the relationship between Charlie’s parents is not explored in depth. Neither Zac Efron nor Sydney Lemmon have the acting chops to add complexity to their roles without script support.
The main problem with this version of “Firestarter” is that it exists in an ambivalent space that limits its effectiveness.. The shortcomings of the script fail to capture Stephen King’s ability to capture the complexity of human beings. that are placed in terrible situations, while the visual proposal is not fully dedicated to being a horror and suspense film where the most memorable thing is the grotesque deaths of its characters.