Steve Hutchison analyzed horror movie decades between the 1930’s and 2019 and came up with ranked lists. Each film description contains a synopsis, attributed genres, a list of ambiances involved, seven ratings and a three-paragraph review.
Great balls of fire!
Based on a novel by Stephen King, Firestarter tells the dramatic story of a telekinetic hypnotist and his daughter, a telepathic pyrokineticist, running away from a ruthless government agency that experiments with psychic abilities. King decides to approach witchcraft through science rather than resorting to the occult and the result is unprecedented.
Drew Barrymore gives a stunning performance for a child her age. She is surrounded by grade A actors; Martin Sheen, George C. Scott and David Keith, namely, who make this supernatural story feel almost plausible. Firestarter is an atypical horror movie. Exceptionally here, the protagonists are magicians and the antagonists are nearly defenseless if not meticulous about their tactic.
Fire bursts, fireballs, explosions, and various other breath-taking practical effects keep us enthralled, as well as a myriad of well executed stunts from beginning to end. In the midst of all this are a tragedy and a slow burn journey. The film is often tense, always sad, shot and written skilfully, and, though it fully explores its gimmick, leaves us wanting more by the time the credits roll.