‘Eyes of fire’, a version that will disappoint Stephen King fans

In eyes of fire, by Keith Thomas, the dangerous power of the very young Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) has more of a gift than a threat. The remake of the ’80s classic is more interested in proving the character to be some kind of true superhero than a risk. And it is this small nuance that makes the film fail in its most important aspects. This, despite taking greater risks and being more ambitious than its predecessor.

But while the book both productions are based on ponders petty horrors, the remake assumes power is a stunning mystery. Much more related to the X-Men saga and superhero franchises than to the horror genre, eyes of fire obviously disappoints. On this occasion, the race of Charlie and his father (Zack Efron) to escape a monstrous government project is trivialized.

Much more when it looks dull compared to the great superhero sagas it’s going to have to compete with. eyes of fire he breaks down the growing monster premise — a side-analysis which King deftly pulls off — to support an idea of ​​wonder. Charlie, with an ability to create fire that isn’t mysterious or deeply scrutinized, is an amazing creature.

Or it’s for the script. The story imbues those who persecute her, her father and those around her with naive wonder. All the elements that supported the curious and uncomfortable story of King and Mark L. Lester’s 1984 film are gone. And in fact, the insistence on showing Charlie as an exceptional being ends up transforming the scenario into an origin story in its own right.

With more in common with the sci-fi and superhero genres than with horror, the film is an edgy combination of elements. Especially when the second part focuses on the evolution of his character from a scared girl to something more disturbing. But even in its most sinister and violent moments (which exist), Eyes of Fire remains just a story about a new kind of power. He never digs deep, doesn’t care, and doesn’t show Charlie as the supernatural (or physically incomprehensible) anomaly, but rather as a being closer to total possibility. The change in register and tone turns the film into a visually appealing adventure, but with little to offer plot-wise.

Eyes of fire, a journey to nowhere

For almost forty years, we have insisted on the formidable way in which Stephen King analyzes his female characters. First Carrie – the archetype of embodied fury – then Charlie – the unearthly innocence – transformed the women of the writer’s world into complex creatures. But the remake of eyes of fire he seems to forget it and insists on relating the character to the basic heroes of cinema.

Charlie is eleven years old and has the ability to create and control fire at will. With her father, she flees a government agency that wants to study her. In the 1980s, the film was able to link the paranoia of state secrets with a disturbing supernatural ingredient. But for the new millennium, Charlie knows she’s powerful, and that power comes at a price. She doesn’t fully understand its consequences, but she doesn’t seem to care. And he gets to the point where he even seems to enjoy his weird and increasingly complicated power.. The analogy with the new mutantsIt’s Inevitable by Josh Boone and in fact, the film questions the same ideas and practically, in the same tone.

What happens to the perception of good and evil in a film whose balance rests on the shoulders of a girl? The argument is also not interested in the topic and in fact, its main point of attention is the way Charlie manages his superpowers? Despite the fact that in the opening credits they make it clear that everything that happened was due to experimentation, the film analyzes the idea of ​​the gift. And it does, touting Charlie’s ability to the point of being indistinguishable from the variety of heroes that fill the movie screen today.

One of the great challenges of eyes of fire it was precisely about fighting against the canons and stereotypes of characters endowed with extraordinary characters. What undermine the meaning of the 2013 Carrie remake directed by Kimberly Peirce. In this case, the problem is the same. Charlie and his father Andy are survivors. But also, generic characters who must flee from a predictable situation. Worse, the film lacks the expertise to tell the perception of fear that the original story cleverly explored.

A girl, a disaster at the gates, a disappointment

Even the curious relationship between Andy and Charlie is blurred in a film that tends towards the credits. In the book and the 1984 remake, Andy manipulates his daughter, in a design of a weapon about to be unleashed. But eyes of fire from 2022, Andy is an ambiguous figure, on the verge of collapsing with its own psychic charge. But the tension around terror — the gap that could turn Charlie into the real, inexplicable threat he started out — is lost. Instead, Thomas explores the idea of ​​the wonder girl, and the film loses much of its identity in the process.

eyes of fire it’s not completely failed but it lacks identity or personality. For fans of Stephen King, it will be a disappointment. Notably because the story has taken a turn towards science fiction in which it has lost much of its effectiveness. For those unfamiliar with the story, this will be just another piece of the modern hero puzzle. Perhaps its lowest and most debatable point.