Friday, September 17, 2010

Firestarter (1984)

Is Drew Barrymore the greatest child actress of all time?  I like to think so.  After making her mark in E.T., Drew moved onto horror in Firestarter, based on the hit Stephen King novel.

Firestarter is about Andy McGee (David Keith) and his daughter, Charlie (Drew Barrymore).  They're on the run from a secret government agency, due to the fact that they both have some special powers.  As it turns out, Andy and his wife Vicki (Heather Locklear) were involved in a little experiment when they were younger.  They were part of a test group for "mild hallucinogens" which turned out to make them acquire telekenetic powers.

As could be expected, their daughter was born with powers as well....but much more powerful than theirs.  Charlie can set things on fire just thinking about it, and damn Drew looks like a badass when she's doing it.  "The Shop," the agency they're running from, wants to get ahold of the two so that they can test on them and maybe turn them into secret weapons.

But 80s-sexy southern accent-having David Keith is having none of that noise.  Charlie sets shit on fire and they escape to a remote lakeside cabin.  But The Shop remains in pursuit.  Will they be captured?  And what will become of them?

There's a lot of star power in this movie, especially for an 80s SK flick.  Aside from the aforementioned, we've got George C. Scott as the creepy hitman, John Rainbird, Martin Sheen as the head of The Shop, and even Louise Fletcher makes a short appearance.  But no Stephen King in this one.  It's one of the rare movies based on his book that he does not cameo in.

I think this is one of the better movies based on King's work.  Drew is at her best - young and energetic with that attitude that made her famous.  The acting is solid, and the story moves along at a steady clip.  The soundtrack is pure 80s awesomeness by Tangerine Dream, also known for their work on Risky Business and Near Dark.  I love government conspiracy movies and this one really does the trick.


cynniegurl said...

i have always loved this movie.