Firestarter (1984)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Chase Movie, Psychological Thriller, Action Thriller  |   Release Date - May 11, 1984 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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It would be foolish to suggest that working in two straight movies inspired by Stephen King novels, Firestarter and Cat's Eye, would afflict Drew Barrymore with the kind of curse that King himself might have written about. But there's an odd real-world corollary to watching the disturbed preteen light fires with her mind, as Barrymore's own tumultuous world was about to be engulfed by drug and alcohol abuse at barely ten years old. Subtexts aside, Mark Lester's Firestarter is an effective and ominous enough horror story, complete with a final sequence that will be hard for equestrian enthusiasts to watch. As David Keith's Andrew McGee makes a one dollar bill look like a 20, a mental strain that erupts into a bloody nose, all so he can hoodwink a ride out of a cabbie, it suggests interesting things about the telekinetic abilities of this unique family. More strikingly, the film deals with the infant child's inability and unwillingness to control her awful power. If you thought toilet-training a child was hard, just imagine trying to keep her from burning down the house. Where Firestarter starts to turn into a little bit of a joke is its production design, which is hilariously under-budgeted for several key sequences -- perhaps all the money did go to the impressive cast. Still, it makes a decent addition to the King film library.