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Overall Rating
4

Awesome46.75%
Worth A Look: 28.57%
Average: 7.79%
Pretty Bad: 11.69%
Total Crap: 5.19%

2 reviews, 65 user ratings


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Christine (1983)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Underrated mini-classic from the reliable John Carpenter."
4 stars

When doing a movie with a premise such as a haunted car, you can go one of two ways with it. You can either try to play it seriously, and hope it doesn't come off silly, or you can play it for camp and hope the audience gets the joke. Christine goes for the serious try, and it succeeds on most parts. Just stop thinking of the words 'haunted car' while you're watching it.

John Carpenter does the music for almost all of his movies, and though this probably wouldn't work with most directors (I'd love to hear Shumacher clang cymbal one on of his hollow movies), it's an asset that truly helps his films. The music in The Thing, The Fog, Christine, and especially Halloween is the reuslt of a visual and aural (hehe, I said aural) artist combining his talents to tell his story.

The plot is pretty basic, which involves a soically-awkward (see nerdy) guy who is seemingly hypnotized by a wreck of a used car he passes. He immediately buys it and begins working to repair it. As the car improves, Arnie the Nerd begins to change from a sniveling fart to a smooth-talking ladies' man. Unfortuntely, the transition suffers a bit, as Arnie is played by Keith Gordon, who's probably much prettier as a director than he'd ever be as an actor. His transition goes a bit extreme when local bullies destroy Christine and make a doody on the dashboard. (The insolence.)

Well, we all know where we're going from here. Anger boils, ex-bullies run, and all the nasty horror freaks cheer as the delinquents get squished. Arnie's football buddy and new girlfriend run around trying to help, but things get real ugly. It's all done straight, though, with an eye for details and dark style. The scene where Christine repairs herself is truly amazing.

Special standouts: The car itself, which is truly beautiful. (Makes the scene where she gets trashed almost painful.) The music, which I repeat, sets a great, gloomy tone for the movie. And the great scene where Arnie screams "Fuck!" in front of his parents and almost strangles his Dad. (Arnie is like 5'4" and 150 pounds soaking wet.) John Carpenter is a genius, and I mean that.

In the pantheon of 'haunted object' movies (The Mangler, The Shining, Microwave Massacre, Maximum Overdrive, Gandhi) Christine is one of the best. Should definitely be appreciated by horror fans, especially those you should have seen it already. Easily has enough standout scenes to warrant at least one rental.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2056&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/19/99 19:26:38
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell read the book instead 2 stars
4/24/16 Ken Very good film 4 stars
9/03/12 roscoe very good, but a killer car can't be scary, create suspense, or be unpredictable. 4 stars
10/29/11 Sharon Rose Dated but still holds up, a great take on one of King's best stories, very fun! 4 stars
2/02/11 chaotik tom A MUST see. 5 stars
11/04/10 PAUL SHORTT THIN AND GRUESOME 1 stars
8/02/10 Jeff Wilder The book wasn't one of King's better efforts. But it was more effective than the movie. 2 stars
1/06/10 art "yet another great film FROM JOHN CARPENTER","yeah-sure" 1 stars
7/09/08 ray lamborghini you must be joking m8!!! 5 stars
7/09/08 art A LEMON 1 stars
6/11/08 R.W. Welch Okay but too far fetched. Tell your teen who wants a car to watch this flick. 3 stars
4/14/08 action movie fan good fantasy horror special effects are great and story is engrossing 5 stars
10/21/07 Mustangman This is a kick-ass movie, but the book was a little better. 5 stars
4/22/07 mb Entertaining 4 stars
3/27/07 The Professor This movie has a great build-up and some fantastic revenge scenes. Christine is mean. 4 stars
2/10/07 Steven Isakson This movie is one of the only horror films I will ever want to watch. 5 stars
9/13/06 Booksworm Read the book. Seen the movie. Both are great. 5 stars
4/30/06 John Replace the car with lamborghini 1 stars
3/07/06 T Bird Love that car!!! :-D 5 stars
9/13/05 Total Crap Not scary at all. But if haunted cars are your thing, rent it. 3 stars
7/07/05 J King and Carpenter work great together. 5 stars
4/19/05 Bonnie James DO not read the book first to enjoy this movie. The book is better. 3 stars
1/17/05 Jeff Anderson This is some of J. Carpenter's best work. K. Gordon and J. Stockwell are both phenomenal 5 stars
10/19/04 John considering the rather silly premise it works surprisingly well 4 stars
8/24/04 Kyle That radio playing only 50's songs is enough to creep you out! Great fun! 5 stars
8/23/04 lionel alguien me puede decir el nombre de algunos de los temas que aparece en la movie 5 stars
3/21/04 Andrew Great 80's horror film 5 stars
2/24/04 Harmoney Very well done movie. A very scary concept, what would you do if your car was possesed? 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric Saw it very young and loved it ever since. introduced me to the Rolling Stones 4 stars
12/18/03 Andrea J. Hernandez I Love it very much is one of my favorites movie I ever seen the car cute 5 stars
11/26/03 Raul Great! 5 stars
11/05/03 American Slasher Goddess Another great one from Carpenter. 4 stars
10/30/03 Moparman Simply amazing movie. A true horror classic. 5 stars
10/05/03 Samuel Justus decent! 3 stars
5/15/03 Tom Fleeman This is a fine example of a good all american spooky movie. It is a classic. 4 stars
3/17/03 G-man great 5 stars
1/14/03 Cypher Vayne Not much to say, thise movie was just sweet. 5 stars
12/17/02 Owen Mr. Weinberg, The Thing was scored by Morricone last I checked 4 stars
11/06/02 Daniel Raises major goosebumps! The constant oldies on the radio is what gets me. 4 stars
6/19/02 Charles Tatum Excellent direction and musical score 5 stars
4/04/02 cat Another great SK book turned to film. I wish I had a demon car that could get out dents. 5 stars
11/29/01 The $1.98 Pyramid The car gets jealous and has feelings for Arnie. Enough said. 3 stars
10/26/01 Sthenno John Carpenter's direction makes this a decent film.Good car effects and acting. 4 stars
10/23/01 Andrew Carden Just Doesn't Really Click. What Starts Out As An Amusing Premise, Gets Really Silly. 2 stars
8/06/01 badfish This is a great movie period! 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk One of the best Stephen King adaptions by a master of the craft. 5 stars
8/03/01 James Anatidae Think Herbie the Love Bug with a mean streak and indestructible. Creepy! 5 stars
7/05/01 Dean Cool and very silly at the same time. Overall, average. 3 stars
5/24/01 Erik North Worthy horror/suspense film--not much blood, and plenty of atmosphere 4 stars
5/09/01 Amanda (Christine_firkins@yahoo.com) I am making a Christine Firkins Website. If you ahve a digetal cameral E-mail me 5 stars
4/17/01 Semour Buts It kicked @$$ 5 stars
4/11/01 Jennifer Grace This movie is the best in the world.I hope that I can get a car like Christine! I luv Arnie 5 stars
3/19/01 Jessica A really good movie 5 stars
2/09/01 Dark Sol The characters have feelings, and so did Christine felt for Arnie. Like a soap opera. 5 stars
2/04/01 JARED BLACKBURN THATS ONE MEAN ASS CAR 5 stars
1/18/01 Destruction Worker Was the first horror movie I saw! 5 stars
1/11/01 Matthew Holden Christine Firkins: Was awesome is there any sites where i could get pictures 5 stars
12/16/00 Zach Burkemper Best Movie Ever, Sweet Car 5 stars
10/16/00 Ben A'Court I would love to meet christine firkins 5 stars
9/08/00 Mr.Magoo very good 5 stars
9/02/00 STEFFEN SØRENSEN I OWN A 58 PLYMOUTH,SO THEREFORE I LOVE IT! 5 stars
6/12/00 Dimlight People that don't like this movie are shitters. 4 stars
11/11/99 Andre I agree the repair of herself is great where's the next one? 5 stars
5/24/99 Ah Dooey How does anybody find a car possesed by a ghost is scary beyond me. 4 stars
5/19/99 Lucas jackson I thought it was a great movie,that car is awesome and has one hell of a bad temper 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Jul-1983 (R)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Jul-1984 (MA)




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