Sunday, October 9, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016 - Day 9

John Carpenter

Arnold Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is a total dork, who's only real friend is a high school jock, Dennis (John Stockwell). Arnie happens to find a junked out 1957 Plymouth Fury called Christine, and it becomes his obsession. Dennis sees his friend become colder and stranger the more time he spends with the car. He discovers the car has a dark history, the previous owner and his family all died in accidents involving it. The seemingly indestructible Christine is a jealous creature and she will kill anyone who comes between her and Arnie.

Christine takes Stephen King’s archetypal ‘killer inanimate object story’ and views it through the efficient lens of John Carpenter. Carpenter fills the screen with slick formal compositions and some very effective car stunts. There are really only so many ways you can kill people with cars, but Carpenter find some inventive things to do. The sequences of Christine repairing herself, even though they are simply achieved through reversing the film, are very effective. The story itself isn't quite so adept at using its time, the first half drags a little as Arnie’s transformation from nerd to murderer is somehow both too quick and drags on too long. Once the movie gets down to the business of a haunted car terrorizing the locals, the film picks up considerably. My favorite image is of Christine engulfed in flames as it chases one bully down the street. The soundtrack to Christine may not get as much love as some Carpenter’s other work, but it’s strong here, if occasionally a little derivative of the theme from Halloween (1978)

Today's Really Quite Tasty Drink:
Flaming Plymouth Fury

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