A Sci-Fi Stephen King Adaptation Everyone Unanimously Hated Is Available on Prime

A Sci-Fi Stephen King Adaptation Everyone Unanimously Hated Is Available on Prime
Image credit: Universal Pictures

The master of horror’s brilliant novel suffered from such an attempt to adapt it.


  • There is a 2022 movie version of Stephen King ’s sci-fi horror novel, which is included in the list of the worst adaptations of the writer’s works.
  • It focuses on a girl developing pyrokinesis as a result of her parents’ participation in a drug experiment.
  • It gained severe criticism due to its poor writing and acting performances.

Movies and TV series, adapted from Stephen King’s outstanding novels, often gain not only large amounts of money, but also massive critical praise, with many of these movies becoming iconic. These include Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me (1986), the timeless masterpiece The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and the horror banger It (2017).

However, not all movies succeed in adapting the accomplished writer’s material and even in honoring the already existing adaptations. The same thing was done by the 2022 sci-fi horror, which is based on King’s 1980 novel, written in his most productive era.

The story of the movie revolves around the couple, Andy and Vicky McGee, who developed supernatural powers as the result of the secret government drug trial, in which they participated as college students. It also led to their daughter Charlie having pyrokinetic abilities, which doesn’t seem like a relevant trait for a child.

A Sci-Fi Stephen King Adaptation Everyone Unanimously Hated Is Available on Prime - image 1

Indeed, Charlie draws the attention of the agency which performed the experiment undergone by her parents. It forces Andy and Charlie to run away from home to find a safe place where they can protect the girl from using her like a human weapon.

The horror starts by studying the angry father, who blames himself for the mistakes of the reckless youth and is fearful to deal with their consequences. Nevertheless, then it transforms into a ridiculous, straight-forward horror lacking a sense of scope.

The whole feature starts to look unfinished, the conflict’s climax arrives long before you start to sympathize with the characters’ most of all. Besides, the actors, including Zac Efron and Sydney Lemmon as the McGees and Ryan Kiera Armstrong as their daughter, don’t seem to fit the desired atmosphere and deliver controversial performances.

Thus, Keith Thomas’ flop Firestarter, which was designated to be a remake of the mixedly-received 1984 movie, seems more like a parody of the very King’s novel. Despite the presence of the trope of “an unordinary kid with supernatural abilities”, successfully used in Carrie (1976) and The Shining (1980), this movie totally wastes it.

“All these writers think they can tell a King story better than King. <...> It's right there, on the page,” admits Redditor @Lazy_Grabwen_9296, speaking of this failure to adapt the master’s work, which gained a shameful 11% of critical acclaim on Rotten Tomatoes.

Check out whether this sci-fi horror movie deserves to be panned or not, as Firestarter is available on Prime.