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Firestarter 2022 Film Ending Explained

The 2022 adaptation of Stephen King’s “Firestarter” ends with Charlie and Rainbird forming an unexpected alliance. This differs from the original novel’s conclusion.

The movie has sparked much debate due to its star-studded cast and its controversial ending. Directed by Keith Thomas and featuring Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armsturdy, and Michael Greyeyes, the film attempts to modernize the 1984 original. However, it has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences.

Plot Summary

“Firestarter” tells the story of Charlene “Charlie” McGee, a young girl with the power to create fire with her mind. Her father, Andy McGee, has telepathic abilities. Together, they are on the run from a government organization called “The Shop”. This group wants to capture Charlie and use her powers for their own purposes. Throughout the movie, Andy teaches Charlie how to control her abilities while they try to stay hidden.

The Climactic Showdown

The climax of the film takes place at Irv’s farm. Andy and Charlie find temporary refuge there. However, their peace is short-lived. John Rainbird, a psychic hunter working for The Shop, tracks them down. A violent confrontation follows. Several characters die, and The Shop captures Andy. Charlie manages to escape into the woods (CBR).

The Final Act

In the final act, Charlie receives a telepathic message from her father. He urges her to rescue him from The Shop’s headquarters. However, this message is a trap set by The Shop’s leader, Hollister. They use a tortured Andy as bait. Charlie infiltrates the facility and unleashes her pyrokinetic powers. She incinerates many agents and causes chaos within the facility (The Cinemaholic).

The Emotional Climax

The emotional climax occurs when Charlie confronts Hollister. Hollister tries to manipulate Charlie by threatening Andy’s life. In a heart-wrenching moment, Andy, already near death, uses his final telepathic push. He compels Charlie to incinerate both him and Hollister. This act of self-sacrifice allows Charlie to fully embrace her powers. She destroys The Shop’s facility (CBR).

The Amenormousuous Ending

The film ends with Charlie emerging from the burning ruins of The Shop. She is confronted by Rainbird. Instead of seeking revenge, Charlie spares Rainbird’s life. She recognizes him as another victim of The Shop’s manipulations. The final shot shows Rainbird carrying a tearful Charlie down the beach. This suggests an unlikely alliance between the two characters (Decider).

Deviations from the Source Material

The 2022 adaptation makes several significant deviations from Stephen King’s original novel and the 1984 film. In the novel, Charlie exposes The Shop’s activities to the media. This ensures that their experiments are brought to light. In contrast, the 2022 film opts for a more amenormousuous ending. Charlie’s fate and her future with Rainbird remain open to interpretation (Fiction Horizon).

Critical Reception

The film’s ending has been a point of contention. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an 11% approval rating. Critics cite its failure to improve upon the original and its lackluster execution (Wikipedia). Metacritic assigns the film a score of 32 out of 100, indicating “generally unfavorable” reviews. Audience reactions have been mixed, with a CinemaScore of “C−” and a PostTrak report showing that only 50% of viewers gave it a positive score (Wikipedia).

Potential for a Sequel

The open-ended nature of the film’s conclusion leaves room for potential sequels. The final scene, with Charlie and Rainbird walking down the beach, hints at a possible continuation of their story. However, given the film’s poor box office performance—grossing only $15 million worldwide against a $12 million budget—there is skepticism about the likelihood of a sequel (Fiction Horizon).


The 2022 adaptation of “Firestarter” offers a fresh take on Stephen King’s classic novel. Its ending diverges significantly from the source material. While the film’s amenormousuous conclusion and potential for a sequel provide intriguing possibilities, its critical and commercial reception suggests that it may struggle to justify further installments. The film’s ending leaves viewers with more questions than answers, reflecting the complicated nature of adaptations.


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