the new adaptation wants to bring together Stephen King, ‘Stranger things’ and superheroes without the pieces fitting together

the new adaptation wants to bring together Stephen King, 'Stranger things' and superheroes without the pieces fitting together

Anyone would say that Blumhouse’s plan is to produce absolutely everything that falls into their hands. An unexpected sequel to ‘Paranormal activity’? Of course. A reboot and at the same time a continuation of ‘Young Boys and Witches’? How to say no. The adaptation in a terrifying version of a 1977 drama series? Go ahead. Now, someone has knocked on the door of the production company convincing them that it was a great idea do a remake of ‘Eyes of fire’ almost 40 years later. Spoiler alert: not a great idea.

We didn’t start the fire

As much as some pro readers want us to believe that the most normal thing is to start reading adult novels with James Joyce, the truth is that the gateway for many is Stephen King. And it is not for less: no matter who weighs him, has a unique style and an endless bunch of works that range from the masterpiece to the narrative disaster. ‘Fire Eyes’ is a decent middle ground: It’s well writtenengages and has a more or less complex plot in which the characters and their relationships are in the foreground.

For some reason, the 2022 version of ‘Eyes of Fire’ decides it doesn’t like King’s ending or the original film’s ending and a new one is invented in which the storm of destruction and the drama make waters on all sides: as much as Scott Teems, the screenwriter (who previously concocted ‘Halloween Kills’), believes that he has a fantastic resolution, the truth is that it is not taken into account foot, losing the grace, the support of the public towards Charlie and the epic in revenge. A bunch of bad ideas.

Fire Eyes

The truth is that this ‘Fire Eyes’ is more funny than terrifying from the first scene, in which a very lost Zac Efron takes his baby while it is flooded with flames as if it were the Human Torch. It is not a random reference: this new version seems want to drink from superhero movies and take advantage of its success by stretching it in a crooked way. In fact, at one point, a character explicitly says “You’re a real life superhero.” But if it tries to be the horror version of a Marvel movie, at least could have taken care of its visual effects.

all against the fire

‘Fire Eyes’ is a good novel that, for some reason, never reaches its final consequences in film adaptations. In its first version, due to the limitation of the time. In this due to lack of budget, laziness or both combined. The CGI fire isn’t well integrated and looks so fake it could be an Asylum movie at times. This reboot has the visual invoice of a direct-to-video byproduct in the 90s. It is not only that there is no risk: it is that, in addition, it does not look good even in its decorations.

Fire Eyes

“Jules was thrown backwards as suddenly and violently as if he had been hit by the wrecking ball of a giant invisible crane. He traveled more than ten meters through the air, but he was no longer a man but a crackling ball of fire”. In the original novel, this is the beginning of an impressive orgy of destruction in which Charlie unleashes all his power destroying everything in his path. Now, all the action, clearly insufficient, takes place in the basement of a building. Corridors and corridors of absolute nothingness. The least stimulating possible set for the least stimulating possible version of ‘Fire Eyes’.

If you are going to adapt a novel like this again, do it with all the law: break all the rules, scorch everyone, make the buildings explode and make us feel, like the girl, that the power is greater than her. If you are going to stay halfway, timid, looking at the original novel as an impossibility whose rawness cannot be matched, your movie is unnecessary. Keith Thomas, the director, does not take any formal or narrative risks, and keeps us waiting for a climax in style that never comes. The most he gets is to remind us of ‘Stranger things’, a series that he already drank (and a lot) from the original film. Feedback feedback.

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fire passed by water

Of course, Thomas has already announced that if the film succeeds, he plans prequels, sequels, spin-offs and whatever it takes. If it’s hard enough to keep us interested for an hour and a half with a girl who breathes fire, I don’t think the story of how Charlie’s parents discovered his psychic powers will do it. And in the middle of these fireworks on a rainy night are Zac Efron and Sydney Lemmon (‘Succession’, ‘Fear the walking dead’), who they roll on autopilot and they do not raise the result.

The first act of ‘Eyes of fire’ is decent: the drama of a family that must hide its powers from the rest of the world, but as soon as it begins to expand the universe she messes alone. Since the organization that is after them comes into play, the plot becomes as unnecessarily confusing as it is unimaginative. The only thing that keeps us paying attention to what’s happening in each scene is the soundtrack by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, which is light years away from being a masterpiece by the director and composer but is appreciated, like a touch of sanity in the middle of a wasteland.

This remake is not sure if it wants to be a tribute to the horror movies of the 80s, an update, an unfaithful adaptation of Stephen King, a work to remember mythical scenes from ‘Stranger Things’ or a dark superhero movie, but does not fulfill any of these intentions. It is a bland, boring movie with fourth division visual effects and whose few achievements were already in the original novel. For this trip we did not need panniersBlumhouse.

In short

‘Eyes of fire’ has no reason to be in 2022. It does not innovate, it does not transgress, does not update or have a classic aftertaste: it is an hour and a half of horror movies that does not even entertain. Its visual effects look twenty years old, its adaptation of King’s novel falls short, and its direction is basically a blank sheet of paper with no intentions. Between watching the 1984 original and the 2022 reboot, the best idea is… take refuge in the novel.


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