Firestarter 2022 Repeats It: Chapter 2’s Worst Stephen King Mistake

Warning: this article contains spoilers for Firestarter 2022.,In the 2022 Firestarter remake, it is almost impossible to tell how threatening the main villain is, and this is a Stephen King movie problem that It: Chapter 2 also ran into. As an adaptation, Firestarter 2022 improves upon the 1984 version in numerous ways. The plot moves at a faster pace, the effects are less campy, Michael Greyeyes makes a more unsettling Rainbird than George C. Scott did, and John Carpenter’s Firestarter 2022 score is more appropriately dark and creepy than Tangerine Dream’s oddly ethereal accompaniment for the original movie.,However, Firestarter 2022 also runs into a recurring Stephen King movie adaptation problem. The villain of Firestarter 2022 is inconsistent in terms of his strengths and weaknesses, and this issue derails the remake much like the same problem ruined the tone of the 2019 sequel It: Chapter 2. In both instances, the Stephen King movie adaptations took a villain who was terrifying in their original novel incarnation and changed them enough for viewers to be uncertain about how powerful — or weak — these characters actually are.,Related: Every Stephen King Horror Adaptation The Author Has Hated,It is absolutely unclear how powerful Rainbird, the primary villain of Firestarter 2022, is. When he murders Charlie’s telekinetic mother, Vicky, he is almost unstoppable, killing her with ease and apparently unfazed by her psychic abilities. However, in a repeat of It: Chapter 2’s biggest tonal mistake, when Rainbird faces off against Charlie at the end of Firestarter 2022, he is suddenly completely powerless. He gives up instantly and survives only because she opts to let him off the hook, even though her powers have already faltered and she would likely have been taken prisoner again if it weren’t for Rainbird killing the agents surrounding her.,Since Kurtwood Smith’s veteran Shop employee appears in only one scene, and Captain Hollister dies the first time she meets Charlie in person, Rainbird is Firestarter 2022’s main antagonist. However, like It: Chapter 2’s Pennywise, there is no way for viewers to know how powerful he is — and by extension, how much danger Charlie is in. While It: Chapter 2’s Pennywise victims being children explained why he was less powerful against adults, Firestarter 2022 had no such excuse. At various points in the remake’s narrative, Rainbird was powerful enough to kill four armed policemen in quick succession, but not strong enough to resist the psychic powers of Charlie’s father, Andy.,Later, he could pretend to be Andy and mislead Charlie with telepathic communication, but when faced with her, Rainbird couldn’t even try to fight the super-powered child. Even the question of why he lured Charlie to the Shop in the first place was unclear since, when given the opportunity to kill her, he instead offered to let her kill him. This awkward change could have been used to make Rainbird a misunderstood hero if he hadn’t killed Charlie’s mother in cold blood less than a week earlier. Instead, it makes Firestarter 2022’s villain as confusing as It: Chapter 2’s inconsistent Pennywise, perpetuating an unfortunate Stephen King movie problem.,More: Firestarter Ending Explained (In Detail)