1.5/10 Remakes should only exist to take a dated movie with a decent story that had potential but fell short either due to a weak script, dated visuals, a low budget or other shortcomings and improve upon it. The 1984 “Firestarter” meets that criteria. While it was a decent film, the visuals haven’t aged well, little things like phone booths stick out like a sore thumb and the ending went off the rails as our young female protagonist (Drew Barrymore in the original) inexplicably becomes bulletproof when the script needs her to. When a remake was announced I thought that this was the perfect Stephen King adaptation to give another attempt in bringing to the big screen. Unfortunately, not only is this a horrible debacle of a movie, but it is far worse than the original, with garbage screenwriter Scott Teems making insanely idiotic changes from the original film to bring nonsensical changes to modern audiences. The premise involves two people who are misled into joining a clinical trial for money, only to be given an experimental drug called Lot-6, which kills almost everyone in the experiment. The only two survivors gain super powers, fall in love and have a daughter who can create fire just from her mind. In the original, the two parents were smart enough to keep their daughter out of school. If she got bullied or had a horrible day in combination with being too young to control her emotions and powers, she might accidentally cause/start fires, which would bring attention to her and have the authorities after them. This moronic remake has the parents smart enough to not have smart phones with WiFi or internet for fear of being tracked (have they never heard of a VPN?) but so stupid that they put their daughter into a public school instead of home schooling her, which ends exactly the way you would expect it to. Without getting into spoilers, in the original, the little girl ends up with different people than she does by the end of this movie and who she ended up with in the original was a much better decision/outcome than this time around. We get classic lazy screenwriting/direction like TV news exposition that alerts a character to what is going on, which is always a super convenient method for uncreative film makers. Zac Efron feels miscast as Andy McGee, the father to his super powered daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). In another stupid scene, when Charlie is freaking out, which can cause bad things to happen involving fire, instead of Andy doing his best to calm her down, he starts screaming at her to calm down and scares her with his angry demeanor, which also ends exactly like you’d think it would. Andy is also losing his powers over time but it is never really explained why. Do his powers just fade in time as Lot-6 wears off or is there some different reason? We don’t know. Even though this movie has the benefit of modern technology, half of the fire effects looked cheesy and low budget. In terms of the only minor things that worked, the movie’s score (co-scored by the legendary John Carpenter) was a great throwback that worked well and the movie at least goes by fast with its hour and a half run time, so at least you won’t suffer for too long. Even though I liked that the movie was short since it was so unbearable to sit through, it also hurts the movie by making the third act feel completely rushed, unlike the original with its two hour long run time that took its time to better build and develop the story and characters. How you can take a dated 80s movie and make it ten times worse is truly an impressive feat but director Keith Thomas was up to the task. I’d rather light myself on fire than have to sit through this disgrace ever again. Only you can prevent forest fires…and prevent yourself from ever watching this hot garbage.

#MusicByTheCarpenters / #DirectorShouldBeFired / #Nonstarter / #ThisGirlIsOnFire / #CharlieLitMe / #ALot6WrongWithThis

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