Firestarter Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2010
The problem with Firestarter is that it is a horror film that relies way too much on elaborate special effects. The book written by Stephen King was good, entertaining, scary and effective at delivering thrills. This is a film that cheaply relies on the effects to try and create the same atmosphere that the book had, but the payoff is horrible. This is one of the worst Stephen King adaptations that I have seen. King himself, voted this film as one of the worst of his book to screen adaptations. This film was bad, and considering the cast, you'd expect something good, right? However this is a poorly constructed film that relies little on story and more on effects. I think the film would have been much better if the filmmakers would have developed the story a bit more and focused less on visuals. This is a sloppy attempt at bringing Stephen King's book to the screen. Firestarter could have been a good film, unfortunately the film fails and instead of elaborating on the story; it just becomes a visual feast for the eyes with no substance. If you're looking for a good adaptation of a Stephen King novel, you won't find it here. If you're a fan of the book, you'll be disappointed in this film. This is a film that only visually looks good, but doesn't offer anything else. If you're looking for good horror elements, look elsewhere. You won't find it here. The script and directing are horrible, and it's a shame that they couldn't bring a great book to the screen in a more memorable manner. This film is bad, and is quite forgettable.
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2010
Another haphazard adaptation of a Stephen King novel, this quintessential eighties horror movie includes the cute factor of a young and drug free Drew Barrymore, still rising high off her role in E.T. and Hollywood acting dynasty status. The story has a simplistic premise, but the backstory and subsequent plot usually keep it interesting, including the cast of characters, each of which bring their own brand of lukewarm acting to the table. Keith is only present to give a Southern accented performance, grasping his temples and letting two trails of blood come out of his nose. Barrymore is still young, inexperienced in the craft that is acting, if we're being blunt. Sure, she's cute and can call upon her own baseless emotions to culp a performance, but she's years away from a decent portrayal of an actual human. Scott is supposed to be Native American but besides a ponytail and the name Rainbird is white as, well, George C. Scott. His, though, is the only performance truly worth watching, as he is diabolical, inserting himself into Barrymore's life with ease, eye patch and craggy voice narrating the entire tawdry deal. The effects were pretty lackluster, even for the eighties, even for the content they were dealing with. It's understandable why this wasn't given the proper attention, as it was the fifth Stephen King adaptation of that particular year. (Others included The Dead Zone and Children of the Corn). Still, it's an interesting if not obnoxious film, and it's always good to see Barrymore in the early years, before she became a decent actress and erased her childhood.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
This is an incredible horror drama, and it stars Drew Barrymore as the kid, she does a great job. The story is fantastic, it's exciting and dramatic. I love this movie, it's one of my favourites.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2008
This was one of my favourites growing up. Looking at it again now, I am not sure people watching it for the first time now would find it as good, but it was for it's time, and I still enjoy a rewatch. Drew Barrymore really was a good actress, even when she was younger.
ScoopOnline
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2009
If you get on her bad side...YOU'RE TOAST.
Super Reviewer
½ July 27, 2009
Despite the fact that the films usually revolve around good and interesting stories, film adaptations of Stephen King's works are often not the best horror movies. Firestarter isn't the best known of his books, and that's slightly odd as this film adaptation is one of the best based on his stories. The film takes obvious influence from Brian De Palma's 'The Fury', as aside from the fact that this one is about a young girl that can start fires, and De Palma's film features a boy with psychic abilities; the way that both plots play out is very similar indeed. The plot has a number of problems, and the characters don't always act logically; but this is offset by the likable nature of the film, and characters that are easy to get along with due to their relatively simplistic nature. The film follows the aftermath of an experiment in which people were given an experimental drug. The ultimate result of this experiment was a child born of Andy and Vicky McGee; a child with a unique ability known as 'pyrokinesis' - the ability to start fires at will.

The film benefits from a range of cult stars. A young Drew Barrymore takes the title role, and although her acting skills hadn't been honed by the time this film was released, and she is more than a little bit wooden; she provides an interesting lead. David Keith and Martin Sheen back her up well in supporting roles, but the main acting plaudits go to the great George C. Scott who is good in what is probably the meatiest role of the piece. The running time is a little long for a film like this, but it's well used and the fact that the story doesn't get caught up with needless elements such as the girl's mother and father falling in love is definitely a good thing. The plot is very relaxed for most of the way through, and director Mark L. Lester seems content to just let things play out. That is until the last fifteen minutes; when the plot reaches its full potential and explodes with a fun and exciting finale. The film does feel more than a little bit like a TV movie at times; and the dumbed down techno soundtrack doesn't help this. Overall, the film definitely isn't perfect; but it's an enjoyable watch and King films have definitely been a lot worse!
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2009
Drew Barrymore plays a little girl that can start fires with her mind. David Keith plays her father and exhibits a total lack of chemistry with his supposed daughter. I was never "involved" when they were together and wouldn't have cared had one killed the other repetitively. The effects are very shoddy with the fires looking unimpressive and lacking real impact, and Keith pulling out his hair when mind controlling. Does he need to do this to activate his power? Luckily we have a couple of great villains and great actors. Sheen and George C. Scott as a government agent and a government assassin. These two do have chemistry, as does Scott and Barrymore. This adds to conflict at the end, but when you'd rather see a young girl with a loopy murderer than her own father, the film is in dire need of an overhaul.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2009
Drew Barrymore stars as a little girl who can create fires with her mind. Her dad (David Keith) volunteered for some drug experiments back before she was born. In fact, it was during these experiments (which gave him psychic powers to "push" people's minds into doing what he wants them to do) he met and fell in love with her mother, played by Heather Locklear. The government agency known as "The Shop" (they're the ones who gave them their psychic powers) one day decide for unknown reasons to kill the mother, and this sets the father and daughter on the lam. George C. Scott plays an assassin of Native American(?) descent, who manipulates the young firestarter into trusting him. It's his goal, you see, to kill her and take her power into the afterlife with him when he dies, but he must look her in the eyes to do this. David Keith is a suitable Kurt Russel stand-in, and Art Carney's appearance in this film is pretty welcome too. But Barrymore is just a tad too precocious. Still, for a Stephen King film, it could be worse (Maximum Overdrive, anyone?).
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
½ May 7, 2007
I prefer the novel because this movie is almost NEARLY the novel and I don't like movies that do that.
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2008
Drew Barrymore is quite cute in this movie and she plays a cool role - one who can start fires at will. But the movie goes on for too long.
TheGame90
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2007
just read the damn book first...
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2007
Fire is kinda scary, I guess, but I wouldn't devote a whole horror movie to it. This is like a sub-par version of Scanners that got the greenlight because Drew Barrymore was attached. This was really disappointing.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2007
The film looks very dated now but some of the fire stunts are still fairly enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2006
Good Stephen King movie and a nice turn out by Drew.
deano
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2006
Drew looked cute as a young girl since ET.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2013
Stephen King's Firestarter is a mediocre and underwhelming horror thriller. The story follows a father and daughter with psychic abilities who are on the run from a secret government agency that seeks to capture and experiment on them. Starring Drew Barrymore, George C. Scott, Martin Sheen, and Heather Locklear, the film has a strong cast. However, the writing is rather poor; especially the dialog. And the directing is also quite weak, relying on a lot of cliches and stereotypes. There are a few intense thrills and scares in Firestarter, but overall it's a lackluster film.
xxdebxx
Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2010
Firestarter is a film based on a powerful novel by author extraordinaire - Stephen King. OK, this movie is outdated, but it sure was fun to watch. The Plot: College couple takes an experimental government sponsored drug. Years later they get married and have a child (Drew Barrymore). The wife played by actress Heather Locklear, is murdered by agents from the secret government agency and now father and daughter find themselves on the run against the determined government outfit lead by Martin Sheen who wants to conduct experiments on Barrymore because she is gifted with a very dangerous power; she has the ability to set anything on fire just by merely thinking about it. Drew Barrymore was adorable and her innocent demeanor could melt a heart of stone. She really was the cutest child starlet next to Shirley Temple.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2006
A rich, complex, compelling and underrated book is reduced to a cheap-looking and lazily plotted horror/thriller. Disappointing.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2011
not a great movie but the actors make it watchable. Heather Locklear and George C Scott in the same movie!
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2009
Another one of my favorite book to movie adaptations from the great collection of Stephen King. drew Barrymore is so cute in this movie about a child and her dad who are trying their best to run from a top secret scientific lab experiment gone array. So glad either one of my two children dont posses her talent, could be trouble? Anyhow this is a winner if you are looking down the aisles of blockbuster that contain the older films.
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