Release Year: 1983
Director: John Carpenter
Writers: Bill Philips (screenplay), Stephen King (based on his 1983 novel Christine)
Starring: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, David Spielberg, Malcolm Danare, Steven Tash
High school nerd Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys Christine, a rundown 1958 Plymouth Fury with a dark history, and becomes obsessed with it.
Stephen King’s style of horror often revolves around the ordinary clashing with the etraordinary; ordinary decent people finding themselves in horrifying circumstances, the supernatural breaking through the surface of small town America, or everyday objects turning into the objects of your worst nightmare. In that sense a story about a haunted car very “Kingian”. The story begins with kind-hearted nerd Arnie Cunningham who falls in love with an absolute rubbish old car. He buys it despite the best effort of his best friend, Dennis (John Stockwell) to talk him out of it. He fixes Christine up and in the process turns from nerd to self-proclaimed stud. Soon he is full of confidence and dating a the pretty new girl in school, but things turn violent as the car will let noone come between herself and Arnie. A film is a very good adaptation. It manages to condense the rather longish novel to a tight 110 minutes that doesn’t feel rushed or incomplete. The characters are great, Gordon’s (Delivering Milo, 2001) tranformation is particularly entertaining, but Stockwell as Dennis and Alaxandra Paul as girldfriend Leigh are also very good. With excellent music and astounding special effect, this is a thoroughly entetaining horror film that deserves more credit than it usually gets.
In 1983 Stephen King’s popularity was such that the film went into production before the book was published.
Picture Copyright: Sony