FIRESTARTER (2022) Reviews of Stephen King sci-fi horror reboot

Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Charlie in Firestarter (2022). Credit: Ken Woroner/Universal Pictures

Firestarter is a 2022 American science fiction horror film about a young man who must protect his daughter after she develops pyrokinesis.

Directed by Keith Thomas (The Vigil) from a screenplay written by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills; Rectify) based on Stephen King’s 1980 novel of the same name. Co-produced by Jason Blum, Akiva Goldsman and Jennifer Scudder Trent. Executive produced by Martha De Laurentiis

The movie stars Zac Efron, Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben, Sydney Lemmon and Ryan Kiera Armstrong.

After being experimented on by a secret government entity called The Shop, Andy McGee (Zac Efron) develops psychic powers and meets the love of his life, Vicky (Sydney Lemmon). Together they have a daughter, Charlene “Charlie” McGee (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) with a power of her own and The Shop will stop at nothing to get them back…


“The effects are serviceable, but for once, the budget on this one can be felt. Not something usually said for a Blumhouse production, where they are masters at making $5 feel like $500. Not here, with the poorly lit, washed-out film actively putting you to sleep. It feels like half a film, though it would be torturous to sit through any more than 92 minutes.” 2/10 Bleeding Cool

“The antagonists are so blandly and vaguely written that Firestarter collapses quickly once the narrative attempts to widen the scope beyond the family’s cozy bubble. Despite a strong performance by Zac Efron, a few fun charred corpses, John Carpenter‘s superior score, and brisk pacing, Firestarter winds up mirroring Charlie’s story a little too closely.” Bloody Disgusting

“…Keith Thomas fails to do anything remotely exciting or visually captivating with pyrokinesis. Most of the time, it results in holding back laughter at cheesy and unconvincing effects. Admittedly, there is a level of competent craftsmanship here, especially from John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies’ serviceable pounding synthetic score…” Flickering Myth

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