Film (1984). Universal. Directed by Mark L Lester. Written by Stanley Mann, based on Firestarter (1980) by Stephen King. Cast includes Drew Barrymore, Freddie Jones, David Keith, Heather Locklear, George C Scott and Martin Sheen. 114 minutes. Colour.
The novel is not one of King's best, but it hardly deserved this messy adaptation. A young girl, Charlie (Barrymore), has pyrotic powers and can start fires by mental concentration alone. Naturally, a CIA-like organization ("the Shop") wishes to exploit her powers as a new Weapon, and just as naturally she incinerates them in a final (rather small) holocaust. Scott plays the evil Native-American assassin who wishes to absorb Charlie's powers. The film is pure Cliché from beginning to end, and not very competent at that level. Far superior in the teenage Psi Powers line is the very similar The Fury (1978) and, of course, Carrie (1976), both directed by Brian De Palma, and the latter also based on a King novel. [PN]
Previous versions of this entry