Even after twenty years Christine remains a timeless horror classic that is just as scary today as it was when it was filmed. The combination of horror legend Stephen King and renowned horror director John Carpenter couldn’t help but create a masterpiece. Christine is a 1983 horror film based on the novel Christine by Stephen King. Even though the book and the movie came out in the early 80s the film is set in 1978. A lonely and picked on nerdy high school boy is led through circumstances of fate to be in the position to buy a 1958 Fury classic car that will later cause his death and the deaths of many other people.
Even though the car is practically wrecked and in terrible shape when he first sees it the poor condition leads to the affordable asking price of $250. But the owner also tells him that the car has a very dark history. His brother committed suicide in the car, after finding his wife and children dead inside the car. He buys the car, Christine, despite her tragic history and starts restoring her to her former beauty. While he is working on the restoration he starts to undergo some personality changes. He becomes moodier and has a dark edge. He notices that the car continually plays 1950s love songs and he starts to fall in love with the car. When the car is restored he takes her out to show her off along with his new girlfriend, one of the popular girls in school. His new edge and confidence has attracted a lot of girls to him suddenly including one of the most popular girls in the school.
But the group of boys who had been bullying him are enraged that the lonely nerd’s life is starting to turn around. Instead of going after him directly they go after his newly restored love Christine. One night they break into the garage where she is stored and trash her. Arnie, the lonely nerd, is shocked and dismayed by what has happened to his beloved car. But she becomes angry. On her own she tracks down the bullies who ruined her restoration one by one and kills them. During the final battle where she is going after three of the bullies at once Arnie is killed, which causes her to become even more ruthless. With her love song to Arnie playing top volume on her radio she manages to kill all three of the remaining bullies that tortured Arnie and ruined his work.
Science fiction and horror writers along with TV and movie writers have been fascinated by the idea of technology developing artificial intelligence for decades. But Christine was different than many of the earlier stories of sentient technology because she was intent on killing anyone who caused her or Arnie harm. In the original story it is made very clear that the car was possessed and that possession was the reason why the car murdered people. But in the film version the car was driven by a sense of justice and loyalty. Shows like Knight Rider, a popular 80s TV show that featured a car that helped the driver solve crime, were very popular with audiences. But those cars were the produce of articfical intelligene, not the kind of intrinsically human qualities that Christine had. Because Christine was possessed the car was under the control of an evil entity. The killings were not the will of the car but were the will of the demon that was possessing the car.
Many of Stephen King’s works can be considered horror classics. But it took the collaboration of Stephen King and horror master John Carpenter to make Christine into the kind of horror movie that can stand the test of time. Even though the film has been around for more than 20 years audiences love it even to this day. Modern special effects and CGI do a great job bringing the fear to horror movies these days but even without a lot of special effects and with no CGI Christine still manages to scare audiences.