Firestarter (2022)
94 min|Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi|12 May 2022
4.6Rating: 4.6 / 10 from 22,581 usersMetascore: 32
A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.

Firestarter is a 1984 remake of the same title. This film adaptation of the novel by acclaimed novelist Stephen Kings is directed by Keith Thomas, who also directed the quirky horror The Vigil (2019). The film stars Zac Efron, Sidney Lemmon, Gloria Reuben, and newcomer Ryan Kiera Armstrong. Jason Blum is behind the producer’s chair, a well-known horror producer who often produces cheap horror hits. Then what about Firestarter?

Since birth, Charlie (Armstrong) is a teenage girl who has the power of pyrokinesis, which can create and control fire. Her father (Efron), who also has telepathic powers, is the one who has been handling his daughter’s emotions. The mother also turned out to have the power of telekinesis (moving objects). They who had been hiding all this time were apparently detected by the secret facility (The Shop) that used to create their power. The leader also sent agent Rainbird to hunt down the girl. Rainbird also has the same psychic abilities. Then the fun hunting action began.

I don’t know when I saw the original film. I don’t remember a single scene indicating that this film is not capable of giving lasting memories, unlike Carrie, who is fantastic. This remake is more or less the same; only the technical approach triggers nostalgia through music, scenes, and image tones. Regardless of whether this is loyal to the source (novel), the “Terminator” plot cannot provide enough tension to trigger adrenaline. Why make a lame remake? In this superhero era,  audiences are used to watching exciting action scenes that are much more than this. Although not able from the budget side, at least the story can be made more intense and biting. Slow-paced scenes with uninspiring dialogues are enough to make the audience fall asleep, including me.

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Through a thick 1980s tone, Firestarter could not build a thriller side that was entirely appropriate to its smouldering premise. I appreciate the aesthetic approach, but not the story. There is one very disturbing scene; I can’t remember if this was in the original film. An innocent cat becomes a victim of the “angry” of a girl Charlie’s age. We all know that no cat is harmed, and remembering this scene is uncomfortable. Is there no other, more subtle way to present this scene? I don’t understand why this remake was produced; whether it’s just a superhero sensation or the novel’s popularity, whatever it is, this film doesn’t need to be made. Blum should be able to do more than this.

40 %
Artikel SebelumnyaThe Northman
Artikel BerikutnyaSrimulat: Hil yang Mustahal – Babak Pertama
A lifelong cinephile, he cultivated a deep interest in film from a young age. Following his architectural studies, he embarked on an independent exploration of film theory and history. His passion for cinema manifested in 2006 when he began writing articles and film reviews. This extensive experience subsequently led him to a teaching position at the esteemed Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta. From 2003 to 2019, he enriched the minds of students by instructing them in Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory. His scholarly pursuits extended beyond the classroom. In 2008, he published his seminal work, "Understanding Film," which delves into the core elements of film, both narrative and cinematic. The book's enduring value is evidenced by its second edition, released in 2018, which has become a cornerstone reference for film and communication academics across Indonesia. His contributions extend beyond his own authorship. He actively participated in the compilation of the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Volumes 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Further solidifying his expertise, he authored both "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). His passion for film extends to the present day. He continues to provide insightful critiques of contemporary films on, while actively participating in film production endeavors with the Montase Film Community. His own short films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals, both domestically and internationally. Recognizing his exceptional talent, the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival shortlisted his writing for Best Film Criticism (Top 15). His dedication to the field continues, as he currently serves as a practitioner-lecturer for Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts' Independent Practitioner Program.


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