Zac Efron in Wan Stephen King remake – The Hollywood Reporter

There have been so many mediocre films based on Stephen King novels that it’s necessary to establish a new general rule: If you’re going to remake a movie, it’s imperative that it’s better than the original.

New version of Fire starter qualified, but just enough. We forgave Drew Barrymore’s inherent agility, then didn’t leave ET, as Charlie, a girl with pyrokinetic powers. There’s no central character scene with her hair pulled back alarmingly, as if she’s appearing in the worst shampoo commercial ever. And the deadly assassin Rainbird is actually played by a Native American actor, Michael Greyeyes (Wild Indians, Rutherford Falls), rather than George C. Scott, whose inaccurate presence resonated with the Natives.

Fire starter

Key point

A wet squib.

Release date: Friday, May 13

Cast: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben

Manager: Keith Thomas

Script writer: Scott Teems

R-rated, 1 hour 34 minutes

On the other hand, this remake, which arrives simultaneously in theaters and streaming on Peacock, is mostly like a decent cable drama, albeit one with enough violence and profanity to earn it. R-rated. Or rather, it’s like the pilot of a streaming series, which seems inevitable in the never-ending thirst for IP content.

Talented child actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong is no stranger to Stephen King, he used to appear in It: Chapter twoor horror in general, thanks to her recurring role in one season American Horror stories. She’s both vulnerable and terrifying at the age of 11 with her incendiary abilities, the result of being born to parents with their own superpowers from being the subject of drug experiments when they were teenagers. naive college student.

Now Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) are living off the grid, hiding from a mysterious government agency that wants to use Charlie’s powers for nefarious purposes. Andy works as a “life coach” who uses his abilities for purposes such as curing a young woman with her smoking habit. Those strenuous efforts weren’t in vain, for every time he used them, his eyes began to bleed, like an eye line.

But in Stephen King’s stories, the past has a way of catching up with you. After Charlie’s powers come to light, a vile government agent (Gloria Reuben) sends Rainbird to hunt down his family and possess Charlie. When his first attempt was unsuccessful, father and daughter boarded a rickshaw, temporarily seeking refuge with an elderly farmer (vintage actor John Beasley, amazing) before finally getting swept up. corporate encirclement. Needless to say, it all led to an extremely fiery climax.

It’s a bit sad that director Keith Thomas, who has written and directed one of the more original and daring horror films in recent years, 2019’s Vigil, has gone mainstream with this authoritative yet tireless endeavor. The same goes for Scott Teems’ script by heart (Halloween Kills), fails to provide the dark wit that might have enlivened the quirky plot. This is the famous material for the baroque stylizations of Brian De Palma, whose commercial breakthrough with disparate subject matter Carrie.

In recognition of their merits, the actors give their all, with the engaging Greyeyes as Rainbird and the brave Efron as the father tries desperately to protect his daughter and teach her how to control her powers. me. (Yes, Efron did transition into the role of father but is not, as the topless opening scene shows, a father.) The film is also admirably fast-paced, running twenty minutes shorter than the original five. 1984.

But while it does have a few genuinely scary scenes (cat lovers will want to avert their eyes because of a gruesome one), it never reaches the eerie climax one would expect from the cinematic version of the movie. one of King’s novels. That’s the lesson that Blumhouse, the company that is planning to remake another less King adaptation, Christineshould take the heart.

Talk about Christine1983 film version directed by John Carpenter, who is expected to direct the original Fire starter until Universal turned cold after the disappointing box office performance of Thing. With a unique poetic touch, Carpenter, along with musical collaborators Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, brought a wonderfully spooky electronic soundtrack to the endeavor – perhaps its most striking element. .

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