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Halloween Kingathon – Firestarter (1984)


Director: Mark L Lester

Writer: Stanley Mann (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: David Keith, Drew Barrymore, Freddie Jones, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen, George C Scott, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher, Moses Gunn

Plot: A couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Nicely Paced Horror Thriller

Story: Firestarter starts Andy McGee (Keith) trying to take his daughter Charlie (Barrymore) away from a group of authority figures. We flash back to the experiment being performed on ten people, five get water the other five get a special treatment where Andy took place in and met Vicky (Locklear). We see how the two learn they have telekinetic powers the rest of the experiment went horribly wrong.

We jump back to the present and the father, daughter escape where we learn that Charlie has the ability to start a fire and control an attack on someone. We continue to flash between what happened to put Andy and Charlie on the run and Doctor Joseph Wanless (Jones) working with Captain Hollister (Sheen) who are trying to bring them in before Charlie becomes to dangerous, but to do so he has to turn to the unorthodoxy John Rainbird (Scott) to get through to Charlie.

Firestarter is a classic horror film that is perfectly paced to show how difficult it will be for our young girl as she deals with these new powers. We see how three different sides of the battle are trying to either help or hinder her. We get too see the usual military side of the story who wants to have a new weapon while we also get to see how a father will do anything for his child. While this does explore the normal ideas of dealing with powers this ends up being very engaging as you want to know where and how powerful Charlie could become. (8/10)

Actor Review

David Keith: Andrew McGee is the father of Charlie who has telekinetic powers, he is on the run with Charlie from the government, he will do anything to protect her from being part of any experiment, but his abilities to stop her getting out of control are growing weak. David does a good job as the concerned protective father. (7/10)

Drew Barrymore: Charlene McGee is the daughter of Andy and Vicky, born with the power to start fires, she is being taught how to control her powers but this is becoming ever increasingly difficult as the government close in on her. Drew showed she was a star in the making with this performance. (8/10)

Martin Sheen: Captain Hollister is the military man who is tracking Andy and Charlie down so he could use Charlie as a weapon against the advice of Wanless. Martin showed us that he was always going to make both a good villain and military figure. (7/10)

Support Cast: Firestarter has a supporting cast that includes Heather Locklear as the mother of Charlie, George C Scott as the man who gets things done.

Director Review: Mark L Lester Mark does a great job with this film pacing the story perfectly and giving us a slow build to learn how powerful Charlie really is. (8/10)

Horror: Firestarter shows how dangerous messing with powers you can’t control could be for people who don’t understand them. (8/10)

Thriller: Firestarter keeps you guessing to what will happen to the characters as the story unfolds. (8/10)

Settings: Firestarter brings us the traditional locations for people on the run mixed with the area where the government would conduct experiments. (8/10)
Special Effects: Firestarter uses practical effects to create the fire that Charlie causes. (9/10)

Suggestion: Firestarter is one for all the horror fans to watch and will be enjoyed by all. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Farm firestarter.

Worst Part: I feel we needed a little bit more from the backstory.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $15.1 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Charlie McGee is a happy, healthy eight-year-old little girl. Normal in every way but one. She has the power to set objects afire with just one glance. It’s a power she does not want. It’s a power she can’t control. And, each night, Charlie prays to be just like every other child. But there are those who will do everything in their power to find her… or destroy her.

Overall: A burning bright horror film.


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