Christine (1983)



Movie Title: Christine

Year Released: 1983

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 50min

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Bill Phillips (based upon the novel by Stephen King)

Starring: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, William Ostrander, David Spielberg, Malcolm Danare, Steven Tash, Stuart Charno, Kelly Preston, Marc Poppel, Robert Darnell, Richard Collier, Bruce French, Douglas Warhit

Review: She's sleek, stylish, and seductive, but most of all - she's pure evil. Her name is Christine. She's a 1958 Plymouth Fury. And she's going to drive you to hell and back! Buckle up and brace yourself for director John Carpenter's motion picture adaptation of the Stephen King novel - Christine.

I have always been a fan of John Carpenter. From Halloween to Prince of Darkness, and many more, Carpenter knows how to set a mood, thrill you with a compelling tale, and embed images, music, and characters in your head for decades afterward. And with Christine, Carpenter does what he does best, but this time with a supernatural twist on a story of a teenager and his first love... his very first car. It's a story many teenage first time car owners can relate to, but when Stephen King writes it, and John Carpenter directs it, you know that it's going to travel down a twisted, dark, dead-end road.

Christine tells the story of nerdy outsider Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) who buys a rusted-out classic car that needs a little love, both literally and figuratively. He starts out as your stereotypical nerd, but with Christine's help, he transforms into a brooding loner capable of almost anything...and none of it good. Gordon is great in the role that's tough to play. His best friend Dennis (John Stockwell) is the hotshot jock of the school, but is more insightful, grounded, and concerned for Arnie as the story goes along. He's also solid here and really works well with Gordon. Leigh (Alexandra Paul) is the new girl in school that catches the eye of both Arnie and Dennis, but this story doesn't have your typical high school love triangle, especially when Leigh tries to pump Christine's brakes. She is cute and wears the concern for Arnie very well. Character acting greats Robert Prosky and Harry Dean Stanton make memorable appearances and add more flavor to this story as a junkyard owner and a detective, respectively.

The real star of Christine is the gorgeous 1958 Plymouth Fury who can't be denied. Whenever that car is on the screen it's saying something. It's a true character thanks to Carpenter's direction, Marion Rothman's editing, Donald M. Morgan's moody cinematography, and the classic '50s soundtrack she plays, and, of course, the score provided by Carpenter and frequent collaborator Alan Howarth. They all work together brilliantly to make Christine seductive, menacing, and undeniably evil. Plus, the special effects work that makes our leading lady unstoppable is simply genius - A true masterwork in practically effects that really gives the villain an impact on the story and the audience.

So if you're looking for a horror movie that's filled with fast cars, crazy obsession, and motor-vehicle murder, then buckle up and prepare to burn rubber with John Carpenter's Christine. It'll go from zero to scary in seconds!


Stars (out of 4):
       

Fun Fact: Actress Alexandra Paul pranked director John Carpenter by having her twin sister dress as her character Leigh and report to the set. Carpenter recalled, "It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Alexandra was a pod person."



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