Sg.hu – Fire Lighter – another failed King adaptation

For some reason, a good King adaptation is very rare, and unfortunately the new version of the Firefighter couldn’t even jump to the minimum required level. I love Stephen King’s early novels. There are some interesting ones among the new ones (Mobil, for example), but the big classics are still what many consider the writer to be the king of horror to this day. It is therefore surprising that almost no meaningful cinematic adaptation is born from his stories. If I had to list a couple like this now, I would be reminded of the Prisoners of Hope, The Death Row, The Mist, 1408, or just the first chapter of “The.”

And there were plenty of attempts. From the ’80s, the Cemetery of Brilliance, Carrie, Christine, Cujo, Favorites, was on canvas, but most of these were ruined by a failed re-shake. Now on Fire is the line that also got an anno movie starring the very young Drew Barrymore and I have to say that the current release is perhaps one of the worst King adaptations that has hit theaters.

The basic idea from the book may be familiar: given a family where the little girl has unique abilities. This “force” is to be acquired at all costs by a state body that has “developed” both mom and dad before. The basic idea itself was never too outstanding, yet it produced a very good little book that did not lack this new reworking.


Let’s start with the biggest care, the characters. Drew Barrymore was right for the role as a little girl. It was cute and it might have been surprising at the time that such a fragile child could have such power. Nowadays, however, in the age of superheroes, no one gets their head on this, no one comes on fire when a little girl fires fire with his gaze. Especially if that look is like you’re doing your big thing.

Also included in the film is Zac Efron, who has recently starred in some very interesting films (Damn Lost, Shockingly Evil and Sloppy, Gold) but here he was very vested. I would like to believe that it was merely the compulsion to do this, that he had a contract with it, because there is nothing alive, nothing touching, nothing exciting in his game. He is as spectacularly bored as the spectator sitting next to me did.

And the evildoer is more ridiculous than scary. He has no character, no presence, and he doesn’t stand out from the rest of the crew. Everyone is just as pale as a flickering ground flame, making it very difficult to make a fire. And the ending is amazingly banal, free from any serious feelings. Apparently they didn’t know how to close the story, though King did it anno. The book version would have been perfect, but then how could a sequel be made?

The 2022 release of The Lighter shows very nicely that more and more poor quality films are being made after Blumhouse’s initial success. The Disappear! or even Happy Death! nor can this work be traced, but unfortunately even the Terrible Island of Desires or Mami did better than this King adaptation. 3/10


Click on the poster for a larger version
Lighter (Firestarter)
dubbed, American sci-fi drama, Horror, 94 minutes, 2022
Not recommended for under 16s!

Director: Keith Thomas
Screenwriter: Scott Teems
Writer: Stephen King
Cinematographer: Karim Hussain

Zac Efron (Andy McGee)
Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Charlie McGee)
Gloria Reuben (Hollister)
Sydney Lemmon (Vicky McGee)
Michael Greyeyes (Rainbird)
Tina Jung (Ms. Gardner)


Source: SG.hu Hírmagazin – Film by sg.hu.

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