John Carpenter's Firestarter Soundtrack Is Now Streaming

When he's not chilling at home playing video games and watching NBA basketball, cherished cult director John Carpenter has kept busy of late composing horror film scores with his son Cody Carpenter. The duo teamed up with Daniel A. Davies to create the invigorating synth music for "Halloween" (2018) and its sequel, 2021's "Halloween Kills," and look to reunite once again for the final entry in David Gordon Green's slasher trilogy, 2022's "Halloween Ends."

Ahead of that, the three have re-teamed to craft the score for "Firestarter." Directed by Keith Thomas ("The Vigil") from a script by Scott Teems ("Halloween Kills"), the film adapts Stephen King's 1980 novel about a young girl who develops pyrokinetic powers, making her both a threat to those around her and the target of a shady government agency nicknamed "The Shop." The German electronica band Tangerine Dream provided the score for the 1984 movie version of "Firestarter," which starred Drew Barrymore as the other girl who played with fire, Charlie McGee.

"Firestarter" is now playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock. But if all you're really interested in is listening to Davies and the Carpenters' latest score (or, more favorably, want to listen to it again after watching the movie), you can now do so by streaming the film's soundtrack on Spotify.

We didn't start the fire

Ryan Kiera Armstrong plays Charlie McGee in "Firestarter" (2022), with Zac Efron co-starring as her father, Andy McGee, and Michael Greyeyes ("Wild Indian," "Rutherford Falls") playing John Rainbird, the mercenary hired by "The Shop" to hunt down Charlie and bring her in. Critical responses have been mostly negative so far, which doesn't come as a huge shock given that Universal didn't exactly go all-out to hype the movie ahead of its release. /Film's Chris Evangelista writes in his review:

"Firestarter" isn't offensively bad. It's not likely to make you angry, or have you calling it the worst dang thing you've ever seen. But it is aggressively average, bordering on mediocre. There's nothing fiery here. It's lukewarm at best.

At the same time, Chris praised the film's "killer, propulsive score" by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel A. Davies, calling it "the best part of the whole movie." It's a nice case of things coming full circle for John Carpenter, after he was replaced as director on the 1984 film version of "Firestarter" due to the poor box office turnout for "The Thing" (1982). That his music is now perhaps the most heavily-praised element to come out of either adaptation of Stephen King's book almost feels like poetic justice in a way.

"Firestarter" (2022) is now playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.