Riddle of Fire

Riddle of Fire was watched early from a screener. It is being released on March 22th, 2024.

Double, double toil and trouble, kids are going on an adventure and word that rhymes with trouble.

Hazel (Charlie Stover) and Jodie A’Dale (Skyler Peters) are having a great time with their friend Alice (Phoebe Ferro). Technically, they are being hooligans. They actually broke into a warehouse at night, to steal a package that they knew had a video game console in it! They got chased, but got away, and at home, they were excited to finally play. But…the TV had a lock on it for some reason. Boo!

Unfortunately their mom (Danielle Hoetmer) is sick, and she thinks they can get to play more with the TV if they go and get her some blueberry cake from the baker, it will heal her! But then that fetch quest has another problem, and so on, and so on, and so on.

And sure enough, eventually, they deal with cultists and witches and magic and meet another friend (Lorelei Olivia Mote) to join their merry band of adventurers.

Also starring Lio Tipton, Charles Halford, Weston Razooli, Austin Archer, and Abigail Sakari.

The main point of being a youth, is to also do spy shit like this.

Do I feel like this film has whimsy? Yeah, I do feel whimsed. Does it have enchantment? Certainly.

The vibe with Riddle of Fire is a strong one. I did not know ten years ago I would be writing reviews and talking about the vibe of a movie, but here we are. It has the look, it has the magic, it has a simple aesthetic, that even when it gets out of hand, still feels simple. It feels like its a kids movie, starring kids, that kids themselves not might like, and adults it really will depend!

Even though I can love the aesthetic, and wish I was on the journey with them, it still feels like something is lacking. Likely all dealing with the story. It is simple to follow, which is a good thing, but yet, there is a filler feel to parts of it, which become more of a frustrating element to the viewer, more than the characters. It is a film I am going to watch once, but not again. I might even recommend it to people, if I know they are in for a very specific experience, but it is not just going to hit every mood.

I really love a lot of the ideas here, and the director is showing hella promise. This was one of my most excited films in Fantastic Fest last year, that I didn’t get to see, and it was still worth it overall. Just the once.

2 out of 4.