Something seemed off with this movie almost from the start. Usually when adapting Stephen King, much like the books, the movies tend to run long. With the runtime being barely 90 minutes, I had the suspicion a lot was going to be cut from this remake. And I was right, as this felt like an abridged version of the 1984 film.
They basically glide past key plot points in the story. Like for example how Charlie and her parents even got their special superhuman abilities. Might seem like kind of an important thing to setup, right? As it is the whole catalyst that sets this story in motion.
In the original they actually took time to give these characters some background, introducing them as they participate in the special government run experiment known as LOT-6.
We saw how Charlie’s parents met and who was running this off the books experiment…
In the 2022 remake however, all we get is a quick videotaped introduction over the opening credits.
I don’t remember much about the 1984 original, just that batshit insane ending.
The remake has a memorable ending as well, but for completely different reasons. All of them bad. Really bad.
Another glaring issue I found was the music, scored by John Carpenter. Originally, he was set to direct the 1984 version before getting thrown off the project because of how badly The Thing did in theaters.
That alone is hard to image, The Thing being considered a failure. They bring Carpenter back for the remake, but only for his music. However, the synth score doesn’t match the film’s tone or atmosphere whatsoever. It felt like it was made for a completely different movie entirely, clashing with almost every scene.
Another thing you notice is how low budget the remake feels. This in no way should have been shown in theaters. They should have stuck with just streaming it on Peacock or Paramount+ or whatever it was on. There’s so many now I can’t keep track of all of them.
You really see the budget restriction not only in the ending which is just the same nondescript hallways over and over, but also in the SFX. Which are few and far between.
I can’t remember how much time was spent with Charlie and her family before the government agents show up, but in the remake they sacrifice backstory to give us more of her family life. That in itself isn’t bad.
We see her go to school, dealing with bullies as they pick on her for not having access to the internet or phones like most kids her age.
In the opening scene we get her in class dissecting a frog. But the kid next to her gets upset she cuts it open. I mean, is that not what they are meant to be doing?
Even the teacher scolds her for doing the thing that they seem to be there to do. I think the teacher even mentions you can just look all this up online instead of having to dissect it yourself.
Okay, then why the hell is the frog even there in the first place?!
If you aren’t meant to cut this frog open to study it, not only is it weird that the frog is there, but why are the instruments to cut it open there as well? Not like she was stabbing it with a number 2 pencil or something.
Is she the only one to actually do the thing you are meant to do, by cutting this frog open?
This is the very first scene too. And already we are hit with logic holes. But just you wait, because there’s a pretty big one coming towards the end of this movie that still boggles the mind.
And yes, this review will contain spoilers. There is no way around it this time as this has one of the worst endings I have ever seen.
But until then you have to wait because there is plenty more stupid shit to come.
Aside from the idiotic scene with the frog, I actually wasn’t hating this movie at first. Sure, they skipped the parent’s backstory, but seeing Charlie and not to mention her parents dealing with her developing powers and their own powers was interesting.
Charlie’s dad Andy played by Zac Efron works as a hypnotherapist, who can help you stop smoking, things like that.
Her mom also has abilities, but she refuses to use them.
Charlie has inherited both of their abilities and one of her own, pyrokinesis, the control over fire.
Because of these abilities a secret branch of the government called The Shop wants to use her as a weapon. So they’ve been actively searching for them since her birth.
Another big difference in the remake is Rainbird. In the original he was this one eyed assassin sent to capture Charlie. He posed as a janitor to get close to her, gaining her trust.
In the remake he’s a native American that also has special abilities.
After Charlie gets bullied in school, she lets out her anger in the girls bathroom, letting out a small explosion.
This alerts The Shop of where to start looking for her and her family.
In a fit of rage, she also manages to severally burn her mom’s arms and hands. Wanting to keep her calm, Andy takes her out for ice cream. Though it seems like it’s in the middle of the night, not sure many ice cream shops are open at that hour but whatever.
While Charlie’s mom packs up their things as they now need to flee, Rainbird shows up, killing her.
Before all of this I forgot we got introduced to Captain Hollister. In the original the role was played by Martin Sheen. In the remake it is played by Elliot’s therapist from Mr. Robot. It’s the only thing I’ve ever seen her in, so…
This part was cut down significantly but not as much as the Dr. Wanless role, which I remember being pretty important in the original. In the remake he gets one pointless scene telling us exposition. Something I guess they needed to do since they skipped over the whole experiment LOT-6 portion of the story.
When Charlie and her father come back home, she finds her mom dead, releasing a… not sure what to call her powers. Like a wave of fire I guess.
It sets Rainbird and the house on fire.
Charlie and her father escape and go on the run, while Rainbird also manages to escape with only a few minor burns.
Andy thinks it’s time to teach Charlie on how to control her abilities, so she doesn’t hurt anyone else. But they do this in a scene where she sets a cat on fire. I can’t remember if this was in the original film as well or something from the book. It’s Stephen King, so maybe. He sometimes seems to have a thing against animals and children as they seem to die a lot.
Either way I hated this scene, but it also sets up Charlie almost being the villain of the story later on. By the end she’s setting everyone on fire regardless of who they are. Which makes what happens at the end even more idiotic. We still aren’t there yet, but it’s coming!
While on the run, Charlie and her father run into an old farmer named Irv. He lives alone with his disabled wife who was bedridden after a car accident.
Because of Charlie’s telepathy powers thanks to her dad, she is able to get the truth out about what actually happened. Irv being the reason for the wreck.
Irv sees on the news that the police are after Andy, reporting he killed his wife and kidnapped his own daughter.
The police do show up, but not before Rainbird gets in place and snipes them from afar.
Eventually the Shop shows up to arrest everyone, but Charlie manages to get away thanks to some mind trickery by Andy.
Rainbird gets arrested for some reason and taken to The Shop along with Andy.
Captain Hollister finally shows back up, getting Andy to psychically call out to his daughter. At least I think that’s what happens. Either way it’s time for Charlie’s villain arc.
She breaks into the facility, kills just about everyone she comes across, regardless if they’re innocent or not. She burns one woman to a crisp who was defenseless, begging for her life. Which makes what happens next make zero goddamn sense.
So I guess it’s time to talk about it.
Rainbird is set free from his cell, coming across Charlie as she has just set her father on fire. Does she kill Rainbird?
Nope. You know the man she knows killed her mother. Instead she not only lets him live but leaves with him.
I feel like maybe I’m not doing justice to just how terrible of an ending this is.
In the original, Rainbird was tricking Charlie, making it seem like he was her friend. So when her and her father plan their escape, she’s sure to tell him about it.
It ends with Andy using his abilities to get Captain Hollister and Rainbird to shoot each other in the heads.
After that, Charlie goes on a rampage, throwing fireballs at the soldiers.
She didn’t just break into the facility, and have a stroll down some hallways that all look the same and then walk away with Rainbird like the remake idiotically did.
They didn’t even build up any kind of relationship between the two. He literally means nothing to her other than he murdered her mother in cold blood.
This ending makes absolutely zero fucking sense.
I’m sorry, in no way can I recommend this movie. This is a HARD SKIP.
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