FIRESTARTER (2022)*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts with a couple, Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky McGee (Sydney Lemmon), admiring their baby daughter, Charlie. After they settle her down into her crib, the mobile above Charlie and other items around the room begin to catch fire. Andy picks her up, and Charlie catches fire as well.
In the present day, Andy goes to the kitchen to find Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) sitting by herself after a nightmare. He goes to comfort her, where she talks about her worries over “the bad thing” – her pyrokinetic abilities. Andy helps Charlie feel better, and Vicky soon arrives to join them and start making breakfast.
The opening credits show Andy and Vicky when they were a young couple undergoing clinical trials performed by Dr. Joseph Wanless (Kurtwood Smith). The two are given an experimental drug called Lot-6, and their tests and evaluation are recorded. Others are shown taking the same drug, with more deadly and violent results.
Andy works as a psychologist. As a result of the Lot-6, he has gained the ability to manipulate people’s thoughts. He is shown using his power, “the push,” to convince a woman to quit smoking, but the effects on him cause his eyes to bleed.
At school, Charlie gets made fun of by her classmates, mostly a snotty kid named Gavin (Gavin Maciver-Wright). Their teacher, Ms. Gardner (Tina Jung), is kinder to Charlie. Vicky goes home to find Charlie crying since she feels like a freak, but Vicky reassures her that she is special. She later talks to Andy about it, as he wants to help Charlie control her powers, but Vicky wants her to feel normal.
The next day during gym class, Charlie gets hit during dodgeball. She goes to the bathroom to calm herself down. Ms. Gardner follows and finds Charlie hiding in the bathroom stall, but her power causes the door to blow off its hinges. After the incident, Andy and Vicky are called in, leading to more of an argument over what to do with Charlie. She overhears them arguing and begins to cry, and when Vicky tries to calm her down, Charlie sets her mother’s arms on fire before Andy puts it out.
In a nearby facility, Captain Hollister (Gloria Reuben) is monitoring Charlie’s powers through readings given off after the school incident. She contacts a custodian with superpowers, Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes), telling him to find Charlie and bring her back to the facility alive.
Andy takes Charlie out for ice cream to make her feel better. While Vicky is home alone, Rainbird finds her and interrogates her as to Charlie’s whereabouts. They fight briefly before Rainbird overpowers Vicky and kills her. Andy and Charlie return home, and Rainbird catches Charlie and holds her at knifepoint. Charlie burns Rainbird to free herself and then finds Vicky’s body. Andy runs away with Charlie before Rainbird can catch them.
Hollister visits Wanless at a retirement home. She informs him about the situation with Charlie, and he urges Hollister to have Charlie killed because they do not realize how dangerous she is.
Andy stops to rest, so Charlie goes off on her own to attempt to control her powers. She then sees a cat and tries to be friendly with it, but the cat scratches her, and Charlie accidentally burns the cat to death. Andy finds Charlie and comforts her, and they bury the cat while also making a memorial for Vicky.
The two flag down a man named Irv (John Beasley) to give them a ride, with Andy using his power to do so. They stop at his house, where he is caring for his wife Essi (Sheila Boyd), who is bedridden after an accident. Charlie finds Essi in her room and communicates with her telepathically. Irv gets angry but apologizes because he overreacts. Later at night, Andy explains to Charlie that he protected her when she was a baby from bad men and used the push to kill them.
Irv sees the news that frames Andy as being a murderer who killed his wife and kidnapped Charlie. Irv has already called the cops, but after an argument with Andy, Charlie comes in to say that she spoke to Essi, and that she forgives Irv so he won’t blame himself for the accident. Irv relents and helps Andy and Charlie get away before the cops arrive. As Irv talks to the cops, they are all shot by Rainbird, who proceeds to go after Andy and Charlie in the woods. Andy uses the push to trick Rainbird and allow Charlie to make her escape. Hollister’s agents then arrive to apprehend Andy and Rainbird.
Hollister interrogates Andy, who refuses to tell her where Charlie is. She then goes to talk to Rainbird, who is working against her facility now since he was experimented on and views Charlie as a sister.
Charlie gets her powers more under control. She manipulates three bullies into giving her a bike and some clothes and then finds a man working for Hollister’s facility. He tries to shoot Charlie, but she uses her power to fry him and take his key card.
Charlie makes it to the facility and finds Andy. Hollister threatens him unless Charlie gives herself up. Despite never wanting to do so, Andy uses the push on Charlie as a last resort so that she can burn the place down. Charlie burns Andy, which in turn burns Hollister to death. She proceeds to kill all the guards and frees Rainbird. Men in fireproof suits attempt to take Charlie, but Rainbird shoots them dead. He kneels and allows Charlie to do what she wants with him, but she spares him so that she will not just be another murderer.
After the rest of the facility is burned down, Rainbird picks up Charlie in his arms and carries her away into the night.
Andy and Vicky McGee were experimented on by Dr. Joseph Wanless, giving them telepathic abilities. Their daughter Charlie was born with pyrokinetic abilities which have made her feel like a freak. Wanless's successor, Captain Hollister, enlists another experimented human, Rainbird, to go after Charlie.
Rainbird kills Vicky, forcing Andy and Charlie to run. They are briefly housed by a man named Irv, but he calls the cops on them after seeing news framing Andy as a criminal. Hollister's men capture Andy, and also Rainbird for failing his task. After Charlie gets control of her powers, she goes to save Andy. However, he uses his mind-control ability to get Charlie to burn the whole facility down, with him and Hollister inside. After everyone else is dead, Charlie spares Rainbird's life and he takes her away.