Firestarter (1984)


Directed by:  Mark L. Lester 

Written by: Stanley Mann
Stephen King (Novel)


David Keith .... Andrew 'Andy' McGee
Drew Barrymore .... Charlene 'Charlie' McGee 
George C. Scott .... John Rainbird
.... Captain Hollister 
 .... Doctor Pynchot
 .... Victoria 'Vicky' Tomlinson McGee
 .... Irv Manders 
Louise Fletcher .... Norma Manders 

Special Appearance:

Freddie Jones .... Doctor Joseph Wanless 

Release Date: Theatrical: May 11, 1984




A couple Andy (David Keith) and Vicky (Heather Locklear) who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child Charlie (Drew BArrymore) who is pyrokinetic.
Suddenly the family is endangered by them and kills a family member in which Andy and Charlie is on the run from the evil agents but are caught as Charlie's powers become beyond her control when she gets upset.


A nice beginning to the story which makes things mysterious with Andy McGee carrying his daughter Charlie in the busy streets of the city at night while we have a special government force on their tail as you wonder why this is all happening.
Also there's a moment when he gets in a cab to tell the driver to take him to an airport which is miles away and he refuses but gives him a dollar bill using his powers to make it look like it's 500 which of course looked mildly interesting.
Plus an impressive moment when the two of them arrive in a hurry to catch a flight and a well focused moment on Charlie staring at a pregnant young adult sobbing and her boyfriend telling her they're not getting married which looked truly upsetting by how it was driven as well as a nicely focused shot on this child's hair blowing and then a nice shot on this guy's shoes catching on fire with him running into the washroom and sinking his feet in the toilets which offered some decent dry humor. 
Also in the story there's some good flashbacks that involves both Andy and his wife Vicky that are both in a medical experiment telecommunicating with one another as the moments looked oddly strange and more mysterious as well as to the other patients losing control and one of them looking bloodied and screaming hysterically as this looked intensely done.
Plus there's another situation when the married couple tries to practise Charlie on her powers with a piece of toast but burns it which is one of the famous scene's in the flick to anyone who watched this as well as Charlie wanting to do it again but her mom tells her no as you get a sinking feeling that something is about to happen but it isn't good on how driven this child is insisting to do it again.
Another perfect flashback moment when Andy arrives home from work and finds something tragic that happened to his wife which was well shot and not looking pretty as well as him using his powers on the people responsible which was a perfect revenge plot.
Many nice discussions at a mansion between the characters Captain Hollister and John Rainbird on how to get both Andy and Charlie which includes possible murder as well as John himself discussing to Hollister on his plans to trick Charlie as well what to do later on with a nice one liner by Hollister that he's crazy which leaves a chill down your spine wondering on what will happen in the story later on. 
Nice touching moments when both Andy and Charlie hitchhike and a nice elderly man Irv Manders picks them up as well as their discussions as well with him offering to stay for dinner which seemed very heartwarming while watching all of this. But then we see the agents whom are fixing their vehicle spot them driving past as this leaves a bad feeling that something dangerous is going to happen later on. 
Cute moments when Charlie takes a look at the chickens in Irv's farm as well as him talking to Andy with a beer about his situation which looked good and serious as well as him telling this man what has been goping on which draws you in wondering if the two of them will be asked to leave or not.
Plus a good moment with Charlie's psychic abilities sensing that the agency is driving to their farm which left a chill down my spine wondering if someone will end up being hurt or killed as well as good shots on everyone in the home sweating and butter on the table melting in which this was a good impression that Charlie is using her powers.
A painful situation does happen by one of the agents and a good close up shot on Charlie as right away I was thinking "Do it!!!" Plus a nice shot on her hair blowing in the wind with terrific shots on these people being lit on fire and falling to the ground and their vehicles exploding which looked powerfully effective and a great vengeful plot as well. This will grow a smile on any horror fans face for sure but nothing gruesome of course since this flick was rated PG. 
Perfect intense moments when Andy is held hostage and being drugged and abused while we spot Charlie in another room being spoiled with her being upset as well as a scene when someone gives her cocoa and later on it bubbles with good shots on this and her trying to control her powers. 
Perfect situations with John trying to warm up to Charlie only to trick her later on as well as pretending to be scared of power outages and their conversations together which blended in nicely as well as her trusting him as right away we all know that this isn't a good idea on what plans he has for her and her Dad. Yet their conversations flow peacefully well when they are at a horse carriage and moments like that.
Perfect settings with Charlie in a room having her powers tested out which looked good and at times nicely intense along with Hollister getting excited about it all which was brought together nicely. Plus a good emotional moment on Charlie demanding to see her father else she could use her powers which was nicely drawn in hoping she will get her wish from them as it's nicely concentrated. 
Also a good situation when Andy is walking along with Hollister outside and uses his powers to control him on planning to take him to see his daughter which is impressive along with good moments on making this person hallucinate on him holding a snake which is a nice eye catcher.
Also there's a note to Charlie from her father and she tells John about it thinking he's trustworthy as this left a chill down my spine that something awful is going to happen later on. It worked well into the story on someone conning a poor child. 
Perfect moments when both Andy and Charlie are together again in a horse carriage as well as something tragic happening and then she unleashes her powers big time especially the mansion and fireballs being shot at the victims along with a helicopter in the air demanding for her to being picked up as you watch carefully wondering if she will use her powers on them too. The explosions and everything else looked greatly done and nice special effects for a film during it's time.
A nice heartwarming ending in the story that involves Charlie going back to the farm which you couldn't have a better ending in a horror story since alot of them have not so happy one's leaving a door for a sequel and sometimes they never get made.
Bottom line is that this flick was confusing at first but well done. Of course it's a weird tale but most film's based on Stephen King's novels are as there's similar elements in this one that you'd see in Carrie with the special powers being unleashed and so fourth. It's psychological too on a struggling family trying to get away from a group of evil agents. Worth checking out.

The acting is in great shape using the top celebrities involved in it which David Keith (Andy McGee) really brought his intensity and frusterations out a great deal as he was highly energetic when trying to flee or springing into action on stuff. Also shows a great concentration while using his powers which he came across as truly strange and mysterious. Plus does well with his vengeful aggressions to top it all off. Near the end of his performance does well struggling his words out which he looked great by being in deadly pain. 
Drew Barrymore (Charlene 'Charlie' McGee) really became an icon in this film as the title character and this was after her fame in E.T. which was awesome as I have alot of respect for this celebrity in which she was very young in her role. She for sure does well with her emotional attitude as well as her aggressions when needed to. Plus offers a nice curiousity here and there which was impressive as well. Plus does well with her crying or anxious moments and her theatening attitude too. Studied her role quite well. 
George C. Scott (John Rainbird) truly delivered his part as an evil killer in which he shows a good coldness to his part in the story. Does well acting seriously calm and crazy with his plans. Also offers a good creepy charm to his role too along with being realistic while conning a child that he's trustworthy with his kind behavior and acting mellow with his peaking to this little girl making out that he can keep a secret. Plus does well with his vicious behavior near the end of his performance when trying to fire his gun. 
(Captain Hollister) also shows off a nice level headed and calm type of behavior as one of the bad guys in the film and does well with his speaking on business. Plus reacts well to topics especially when he tests the little girls powers getting really excited as he offers some nice adrenaline to his behavior. Also does well being in a trance by being put under someone's spell coming off natural instead of overdoing it. He always drew his part in well with every show I've seen him in. 
(Victoria 'Vicky' Tomlinson McGee) has a young performance out of this as the family woman in which she seemed to connect with her interactions pretty well. She shows a nice calm and quiet attitude as well as acting like the nice and caring mother too. Her role wasn't huge sadly but can be well remembered. Of course she gained more success on the small screen in TV shows. 
Art Carney
 (Irv Manders) was another one who had a smaller role but yet stood out greatly as he can also be well remembered in which he borught his caring attitude to life as someone whom is overly generous. I enjoyed him as someone whom is open minded as well as doing nicely with his serious and understanding discussions. Plus does well acting tough to the agents while holding a rifle demanding for them to leave. He brought this out greatly.

The music composed by Tangerine Dream sounded great as it often sounded high pitched windy type of a synthesizer playing which suits for the supernatural powers that unleash along with good adventureous playing here and there too. Plus there's some nice uplifting beats for the peaceful moments that were used int he story as well. Alot of this sounded more unique than your everyday classical music in which things seemed enjoyable having a sound to it during that time period.