Monday, June 19, 2017

Firestarter


Director - Mark L. Lester (Class of 1984, Commando)
Starring - David Keith (Succubus: Hell-Bent, Daredevil), Drew Barrymore (Cat's Eyes, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial), and Freddie Jones (The Neverending Story III, The Elephant Man)
Release Date - 1984
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Will she have the power to...survive"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Stephen King and his works of fiction is one of the driving force behind my obsession with horror.  I started my trip into horror and the unknown in fourth grade with the release of Goosebumps.  After I made my way through all the books I needed more so I started reading books on local lore and cryptids before working my way to Stephen King.  Once I started reading his work I was hooked.  One story of his I never got around to reading was Firestarter.  I knew the story had been adapted into a film starring a very young Drew Barrymore but I never really had a desire to read the story or watch the film.  However, as I got older I changed my mind and picked up the film on DVD at a pawn shop for just a few dollars.  Sadly, I never took the time to watch it.  That changed when Scream Factory released the film on blu recently.  I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys!
     The film follows a man and woman who volunteer for a science experiment where so many people will be given water and the others an experimental hallucinogen.  They find themselves taking the later and they develop special abilities.  Some years pass and they have a little girl who has the ability to start fires when she becomes emotionally unhinged and now the company behind the science experiments, the Shop, wants her to conduct their own experiments on.

     Stephen King's novels have been consistently good but the film are very hit and miss.  I absolutely love Pet Semetery, Stanly Kubrick's The Shinning, Sometimes They Come Back, and It but I did not care for the more hands on version of The Shinning.  I was afraid that Firestarter would be too far stretched making many of the scenes painfully slow to watch.  I was wrong.  The film is actually pretty fast paced and full of twists and turns.  The acting in this one is great.  David Keith was great as the loving father trying to protect his daughter.  He delivers a very emotional performance which made the film feel even more tense and suspenseful.  Drew Barrymore does a great job as well.  She is still coming into her own with her performance but she has great charisma in front of the camera and its great seeing the beginning of her career.  The supporting cast is great as well making this one a very well rounded film.  The story for this one is not something I would say is original but original concepts added to a very clich├ęd story.  Science experiments escaping and being hunted by those that changed/created them is nothing new to cinema.  However, Firestarter is able to build on that and create something that is more deep and tragic.  It turns a typical sci-fi or horror story that could be found at any drive in into a dark drama or thriller.  Finally, those of you looking for gore will be very disappointed.  The film relies heavily on character development and story.  We do get several fire stunts that was impressive and worked very well for the film but blood and gore is nowhere to be found.  Overall, Firestarter is an edge of your seat story driven horror thriller.  This movie made me emotionally attached and I could not look away.  Check it out.  




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