CHRISTINE (1983) Reviews of John Carpenter’s take on Stephen King

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‘She’s a killer’
Christine is a 1983 American supernatural horror film directed by John Carpenter (Halloween; The Fog; The Thing) from a screenplay by Bill Phillips, adapted from the novel of the same name by Stephen King.

The movie stars Keith Gordon (Jaws 2), John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky and Harry Dean Stanton (Alien).

Set in 1978, the film is about a sentient automobile named “Christine” and its effects on its teenage owner…

“There’s just enough Carpenter (and a great score alongside frequent collaborator Alan Howarth) to make this movie worthwhile. It’s not the best of his films. Nor the best King film. But it’s an enjoyable enough way to pass ninesome some odd minutes.” B&S About Movies

“The film is notable in that, aside from one or two outright shock sequences, the horror here is not especially graphic. In fact, the film coasts much more on mood than anything that’s actually depicted (again, with a couple of notable exceptions), which may be why it’s both scary and weirdly charming.”

“The early parts of the film are engaging and well-acted, creating a believable high-school atmosphere. Unfortunately, the later part of the film is slow in developing, and it unfolds in predictable ways.” The New York Times

” …by the end of the movie, Christine has developed such a formidable personality that we are actually taking sides during its duel with a bulldozer. This is the kind of movie where you walk out with a silly grin, get in your car, and lay rubber halfway down the Eisenhower.” Roger Ebert

“Overlong, but propelled throughout by a few effective sequences, Christine succeeds thanks to John Carpenter’s competent direction […] 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.” The Terror Trap

“All of this works rather well as black comedy. But from the horror perspective, Carpenter is only the latest in a long line of filmmakers who have been seduced by King’s sheer plausibility as a writer. Off the page, a 1958 Plymouth is no more scary than the St. Bernard which romped through Cujo.” Time Out Film Guide


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” …Gordon’s transformation comes on a bit too quickly (and is never really focussed on enough), it manages to waste dependable character actor Harry Dean Stanton (as a detective) and we could have used a bit more backstory as to just how the car became possessed; but overall it’s a watchable effort that stands as one of the better King adaptations out there.” The Video Graveyard

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