Monday, October 06, 2014
31 Days of Halloween - Day 6 - Movie 1
According to Stephen King, the notion behind his 1983 novel, Christine, is that some things are just born bad. In this case that something is a 1958 Plymouth Fury christened "Christine." John Carpenter's movie adaptation, Christine (1983) is a heavily condensed version of the novel, with all of the character development truncated down to some effective high notes as nerdy Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) grows suave, cool, and finally murderously deranged, as his co-dependent relationship with his lovingly restored car grows more and more unhealthy. The movie alternates its story between a number of couples; Arnie and his friend Dennis, Arnie and his girlfriend, Leigh, Leigh and Dennis, and mostly Arnie and Christine. The movie effectively uses music to accompany its story, from carefully selected classic rock and roll of the same vintage as the car which expresses Christine's emotional state, to the electronic score by Carpenter and Alan Howarth. Christine's ability to repair herself is also done so with some pretty impressive pre-CGI practical effects. The real problem is that it's not very scary. Overall, the people killed off by the sentient car are presented as people who deserve it, and because the rest of the characters are presented in a very shorthand fashion, there's no way to effectively build up a sense of suspense. When the climax comes, it's rather matter of fact and has no suspense at all. Like Christine, this movie is well put together and nice to look at, but when you open the door, no one is inside.