22 September 2014

Christine (1983)
110 min.
Directed by John Carpenter.
With Keith Gordon, Alexandra Paul, John Stockwell, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Prosky, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, Stu Charno.
A solid adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel.

Shy and nerdy, 17 year old Arnie Cunningham (Gordon) is in desperate need of some self confidence. So when he discovers the rundown remains of a classic 1958 Plymouth Fury, Arnie sets about restoring the car to its former glory.

The restoration seems to be therapeutic for Arnie. For just as his new automobile - "Christine" - begins to take shape, so does Arnie's formerly shapeless personality. He becomes a new person: self-assured, then arrogant, then downright cocky. Soon, he's a man possessed by the spirit of Christine

Turns out Christine's spirit is a diabolical one. And she'll do anything to protect her new owner. Soon, those bullies who previously taunted and tormented Arnie find bloody retribution beneath Christine's chrome and metal.

Overlong, but propelled throughout by a few effective sequences, Christine succeeds thanks to John Carpenter's competent direction. His love for classic Americana is obvious (just check out the soundtrack's wonderful use of memorable rock tunes), and his use of light and shadows is at times as effective here as it was in Halloween or The Fog.

Coupled with a fairly strong supporting cast - Gordon gives a great performance - this Carrie-esque "revenge of the nerd" tale is certainly entertaining, if not always a complete masterpiece.

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