Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Christine is, of course, utterly ridiculous. But I enjoyed it anyway. The movies have a love affair with cars, and at some dumb elemental level we enjoy seeing chases and crashes. In fact, under the right circumstances there is nothing quite so exhilarating as seeing a car crushed, and one of the best scenes in Christine is the one where the car forces itself into an alley that's too narrow for it.
This 1983 feature was Carpenter's best film since Halloween but still couldn't recapture the perfect balance of visceral shock and narrative integrity that defined his first success.
Christine does indeed suffer from the preposterous, low-octane nature of the devil-car pretext. But this satanic nonsense is saved from strictly facetious appeal by a few sensational pictorial effects, notably the sights of Christine speeding after a victim while engulfed in flames or miraculously repairing her own battered body, and by the no-nonsense performances of an excellent cast, especially Keith Gordon as the obsessed and transformed Arnie Cunningham.
It's to the credit of John Carpenter, who directs Christine, that he sees the comic side of King's metaphor. With the very talented 22-year-old Keith Gordon as Arnie, giving some fresh and funny turns on alienated youth, and a strong supporting cast including newcomers John Stockwell and Alexandra Paul and veterans Robert Prosky and Harry Dean Stanton, Christine has just enough comic energy to carry this fable to its crash-bam conclusion. [19 Dec 1983, p.66]
Miami Herald
The story may be slim, but Carpenter deserves some credit. He makes more of the car-as-villain than one might expect, largely by filming the Plymouth in high style. [10 Dec 1983, p.B5]
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 special effects are good, the performances are nicely deadpan, and the score is clever. But Christine herself is something of a bust.
Christine just boils down to another average adaptation of one of the increasingly weak Stephen King novels that hit Hollywood like a bad rash in 1983.
Christine seems like a retread. This time it's a fire-engine red, 1958 Plymouth Fury that's possessed by the Devil, and this deja vu premise (from the novel by Stephen King) combined with the crazed vehicle format, makes Christine appear pretty shop-worn.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
When Christine's on the warpath, she foams at the grille. But her movie doesn't do right by her snottiness. Her movie, never scary but campily entertaining for about an hour, loses compression toward the end and the grumpy old thing finally sputters to a stall - gets flattened, poops out. [09 Dec 1983]
Adapted from the Stephen King killer car novel, this John Carpenter film is more like an assembly line vehicle than a customised job, but is nevertheless a slick, entertaining piece of work.

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