Firestarter (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Director: Keith Thomas
Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 94 minutes

Firestarter (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Atmosphere, Few interesting scenes
Bad: Very shallow
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We were quite intrigued by Firestarter’s trailer, but we also had fairly low expectations as the movie was made by Blumhouse Productions, the company that created absolute rubbish like The Craft: Legacy and Black Christmas. That being said, we were still quite curious how the film would turn out, as the overall story of Firestarter has always been a fairly interesting one. The movie is basically a horror version of the now-popular superhero movies, where people with powers would be experimented on. We were given a Blu-ray copy for our review, and we actually ended up finding the film fairly interesting.

Firestarter revolves around the awakened powers of Charlie McGee (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) and her parents Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon), who have been living somewhat off the grid for quite some time now. The family moves every few years and they don’t allow that much modern technology in their house. Charlie, who is able to start fires with her mind, is struggling more and more with being different. She is told to keep her powers bottled up, but after getting bullied by other children, she blows up the toilet stall she was in while a teacher was watching. This means that the family has to run again, as there is an agency looking for them. This agency is tracking down people with powers, as they are actually the ones responsible for giving people powers. Andy and Vicky were part of an experiment that caused them to develop special abilities as well. After being tired of being experimented on, the couple escaped and started a family, and soon after Charlie was born. Now that the agency knows they have a child with even stronger powers, they wish to control her.

As a whole, the flow and pacing of the film aren’t too bad. You’ll get a fairly quick-moving film that doesn’t have too many redundant scenes. We would have perhaps even appreciated it if certain elements were fleshed out a bit more. Nonetheless, the movie goes from one action sequence to another, while showing a few gruesome scenes from time to time. We wouldn’t really call this movie a true horror film, but it does have a few eerie and graphic elements thrown in the mix. This is one of those films where you can basically guess what is coming next, but it actually doesn’t damage the experience. You know what’s coming, but it’s still interesting to see how everything comes together in the end.

The acting performances in the movie were actually surprisingly good. That being said, with the superficial plot it was hard for the characters to properly evolve throughout the film. Zac Efron and Sydney Lemmon play convincing parental figures, but their characters ended up being fairly one-dimensional. Ryan Kiera Armstrong, however, clearly made her character evolve throughout the film, and while it was clear that this young star still has a fairly long way to go, she does a formidable job when it comes to her part in Firestarter. Supporting roles were handled decently.

The Blu-ray version of Firestarter comes with a fair few extras. You’ll be able to view an alternate ending, explore deleted scenes, and view a gag reel, but there is also a lot of behind-the-scenes footage. You’ll be able to extend your viewing pleasure quite a bit thanks to the making-of-featurettes, which show how certain scenes or effects were handled. The additional content on the disc adds a lot of value.


Truth be told, we dived in with fairly low expectations for this one, as Blumhouse Productions doesn’t have the most spotless track record. Nonetheless, we were pleasantly surprised with Firestarter, which offers a proper (mild) horror experience for a calm evening. While the story remains quite superficial throughout the entire film, it does have a few memorable scenes and the story itself isn’t all too bad. We can recommend this one if you’re into Stephen King’s stories.

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