‘Firestarter’ Then and Now: Neither Film Lives Up to King’s Imagination

Keith Thomas’ “Firestarter” (2022), based on Stephen King’s 1980 bestselling novel, follows a girl with the power to set things on fire with her mind.

It’s sensational material and a compelling read, which is why it boggles the mind that King’s book has inspired two spark-free movie adaptations.

The 1984 version, directed by Mark L. Lester, is worth revisiting as a primer. It also illustrates the problems with both movies, which I’ll explore below (No, I’m not going to mention the SyFy TV miniseries “Firestarter: Rekindled” (2002), though I’ll say that the filmmakers should have gone with the more obvious and honest choice and just called it “Firestarter Reheated”).

We meet Andy McGee (David Keith) and his daughter, Charlie (Drew Barrymore),...

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May 16th 2022
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