Movie Review: Christine (1983)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1983 thriller based off of a Stephen King story by the same name.

Synopsis: Nerdy high school student Arnold Cunningham purchases a rundown 1958 Plymouth Fury and, as he begins fixing up the vehicle, quickly becomes obsessed with his car. The obsession is mutual as the car, Christine, begins to show it has a mind of its own and a violent jealous streak when it comes to her owner.

Review

I saw this movie for the first time not long after it first came out but had not watched it since. As a result of that, I really didn't remember all that much about it. So, when my wife and I had an opportunity to watch it again last night, we decided to do that.

I always have some doubts when I watch a film based off of a Stephen King book or short story because, while there are some I have enjoyed, there have also been plenty that just didn't work as movies. This film, fortunately, falls into the former category.

One thing I really like about this movie is the mystery surrounding Christine. From the very beginning of the film, it's obvious (mostly by the fact the car is red when all the others on the assembly line are white) there's something different about the car and we immediately learn it will turn violent if it feels threatened. Yet, we aren't told why, something that leaves the car's history up to our imaginations and does, admittedly, add to the intrigue.

Another thing I found I liked about the film was the way Christine's violence and Arnold's (Gordon) obsession with the car escalated gradually and at the same time. It made it obvious there was some sort of emotional connection between the two.And, while it is easy to say Arnold developed the car's personality as the movie progressed, it's also possible the car picked him because he already had the pent-up anger from all the bullying he received at school and from his parents.

The movie, unfortunately, did lack something as far as thrillers go. It was, in some ways, very similar to the film Carrie, with the majority of the victims being bullies who really deserved what happened to them. Because of that, we were cheering for the car more than we were concerned for her victims' well being. That being said, the movie still managed to remain interesting, mostly because we weren't sure how far Christine would eventually go, especially when the car turned on Arnold's friends. That did keep the movie from being as predictable as expected.

Christine (Special Edition)

She was born in Detroit on an automobile assembly line. But she is no ordinary automobile. Deep within her chassis lives an unholy presence. She is CHRISTINE a red and white 195...

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Final Opinion

Again, the movie does lack something as far as scares go. However, despite that, there is just enough mystery and suspense to keep this movie interesting and we did enjoy watching it as a result. If you haven't seen the film before, I recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 06/15/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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Guest on 06/16/2015

I saw this movie back in the eighties, and enjoyed it. One of Stephen King's better ones, I think.

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