Stephen King is an incredibly prolific writer and his body of work is revered highly in the horror community. When he puts out a new novel I stop what I’m doing and open my wallet because I know I will not be disappointed. In a world where we are always moving on to the next big thing, sometimes we forget how good the stories that we’ve enjoyed in the past were. Firestarter is a textbook example of this.
Sometimes I am blindsided by a miniseries that is based on a book that I enjoyed. I was deeply enthralled with the Mr. Mercedes trilogy from Stephen King as I felt like he touched some new territory as he entered into an aesthetic that wasn’t totally new for him but his elevation of the genre was. King still put his personal touch on this trilogy, especially in the 3rd novel, which rounded out some of my favorite writings of his career. The film adaptation of Mr. Mercedes was much to be desired and I had a hard time even finishing it. In fact, I’m not sure if I did finish it or not. That’s bad. The antithesis of the Mr. Mercedes mini-series was the HBO adaption of The Outsider. The Outsider was a pretty good Stephen King novel. It wasn’t amazing but it held its own. The mini-series of The Outsider, on the other hand, was amazing. Jason Bateman had a heavy hand in this series as he produced and acted in it. It was a perfect storm of all of the right moves to make this thing pop. The latest version of Firestarter felt a bit like The Outsider in that regard.
Firestarter felt less like a film and more like the pilot to a really exciting Netflix series like Stranger Things or Ozark. It was really fast-paced to the point that at the end of the film I was ready for more. It seems that a lot of horror and science fiction flicks that I put on these days leave me a little bit exhausted. I’m ok with this but it was nice to see a film that dives into darker content yet leaves me excited. I loved the 1984 adaptation as well. I appreciate that these films have a completely different feel from each other. The one thing that both versions share in common is the fact that they both came at it with a banging soundtrack. John Carpenter’s score was absolutely epic and a perfect fit for Firestarter. Tangerine set a high bar in 1984 and I’m glad that no corners were cut in that arena.
In a world where we are graced with several Dark Tower books, an unabridged version of The Stand, and a sequel to The Shining, I think it is fair to ask where Firestarter will go from here. I was impressed by this version and feel like the story could go on. Would it be too much if I were to ask Jason Bateman to produce an HBO series?
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, singing and/or rapping, juxtaposing his style with real-life situations and subject matter. Occasionally Spoken Nerd will find inspiration in films and will put it into song. With eight full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released. His most recent release is the collaborative effort Grapes, with Juan Cosby.