Zac Efron’s new horror movie Firestarter is anything but a twisted Firestarter. The remake of the Stephen King novel has opened to less than hot reviews, coming to a distinctly lukewarm Rotten Tomatoes score of 32% – ooft.
The thriller movie is directed by Keith Thomas, and features Efron as Andy McGee, a telepath whose daughter Charlie starts exhibiting the power to manifest and control fire. A secret arm of the government hunts these quasi-mutants, and Andy has to take Charlie on the run, but inevitably she has to face her potential captors and fend for herself. King’s book came out in 1980, and was adapted for the big screen in 1984.
The ’80s movie wasn’t especially warmly received, leaving fans in the cold until now, when Blumhouse and Universal decided to have another go. Unfortunately, the studios behind The Purge movies and Halloween movies apparently couldn’t find a spark, and we’ve been left with another mundane King-inspired feature film. Not like we aren’t used to disappointment on that front, eh?
At the very least, everyone involved in Firestarter can find comfort in being hotter than 2016’s Cell. That zombie movie sits at a glum 11% – a low bar, but one Firestarter ascends with ease.
On the bright side, we still have monster movie Salem’s Lot later this year, and a selection of other King-related projects in various states of development. Lynne Ramsay is slated to do The Boy Who Loved Tom Gordon, and former MCU director Scott Derrickson is working on The Breathing Method.
Speaking of Derrickson, he directed The Black Phone, based on a short story by Joe Hill, King’s son. Let’s hope that one’s hotter than the lackluster sparks Firestarter has gleamed.