Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Regular readers will know of my fetish for Stephen King. I firmly believe that in years to come Mr King will be the Agatha Christie of our age. He has a power to weave an intricate and elaborate story from the simplest of ideas. Firestarter is one such of he stories. Taking the simple concept of a US Government study that has imbued its subjects with psychic powers. When two of those subjects bear a child then of course the powers of the offspring are immeasurable.

This is King at his very darkest and don’t let the presence of the of the oh so sweet Drew Barrymore fool you into thinking otherwise. Occupying a similar niche as the unfortunately similar story Carrie, the presence of these powers does not necessarily signal a happy ending. Powers in the King universe make you a freak, not a hero.vlcsnap-2010-08-04-20h32m52s154

Barrymores acting at such a tender age is what truly carries the film. She is wholly believable as little Charlie and, despite some ropey “Back off” moments is outstanding in the role, if she had failed to be convincing the whole film could have faltered at the start. Martin Sheen is also excellent as the evil Captain Hollister (not to be confused with the Captain of the Jupiter Mining Corporations' Red Dwarf.

The real winner in Firestarter, for me, is the effects. Made in the 80’s there is not a hint of CGI yet the climactic scenes are truly breathtaking. This is helped by the measured build up to these scenes and a restraint in build-up that today's filmmakers could learn a lot from. vlcsnap-2010-08-04-21h51m59s5

My only gripe with the film is its passing similarity to Carrie. This is unavoidable, but they really are very different stories.

Well recommended.

Paul Out…

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