Directed by John Carpenter [Other horror films: Halloween (1978), Someone’s Watching Me! (1978), The Fog (1980), The Thing (1982), Prince of Darkness (1987), They Live (1988), Body Bags (1993, segments ‘The Gas Station’ & ‘Hair’), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Village of the Damned (1995), Vampires (1998), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Ward (2010)]
One of the more well-known horror films I haven’t seen until just now, Christine was a decent movie with a bit going for it, but I can’t pretend that I thought it was great or, even more so, that it really needed to be an hour and 50 minutes.
I’ve never read all of the Stephen King novel this movie’s based on – I got very, very close to the ending once, but for some reason, I didn’t seal the deal. That was many years ago, so the characters here, not to mention most of the scenes, all seem new to me, which I guess is a positive going into a movie that has as many fans as this one does.
Keith Gordon was decent as one of the central characters. I pretty much felt for him throughout most of the film (and I should also say that never once did I feel bad for his parents, who drove me up the wall), and seeing him change as the movie goes on was sort of fun to see. I think John Stockwell was marginally more interesting, though not exactly memorable, and Alexandra Paul somewhat inconsequential.
It was nice to see Harry Dean Stanton (Alien) for a bit, and even nicer to randomly see Stuart Charno (I didn’t know the name beforehand, but he’s Ted from Friday the 13th Part 2), though neither one really got enough screen-time to make much of a difference. Robert Prosky was solid, and William Ostrander made for a quality bully (who had an amazingly high level of aggression).
Another thing that I have to mention is the quality soundtrack. Not just the miscellaneous 50’s songs either, but the solid 80’s vibe this film has, at times reminding me of Halloween III: Season of the Witch and other classics from the same era. Definitely found myself digging it.
Problematically, though, while I like most of the story, I really don’t think this needed to be as long as it was. I think it probably would have been perfectly acceptable to trim out fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, and all would have been well. I don’t necessarily think the movie drags a substantial amount, but I did find myself losing focus once or twice.
Of course, there are scenes here that make it worth it, such as the first car chase sequence, but then you get to the conclusion, which I personally felt was all hat and no cattle. I mean, it was okay for some of the action, but I just found it somewhat underwhelming. Admittedly, I don’t know what else they could have done to an evil car, but there you go.
Christine isn’t a movie that I had a deep interest in seeing beforehand, and ultimately, I don’t think it’s anywhere near a great film, but it’s decent, and I think that people have a good reason for enjoying it. I find it somewhat below average, if only because I don’t think the length of the film awarded the content any, but I didn’t have a bad time with it, and perhaps with another viewing down the line, I’ll appreciate it more.