Drivers’ Cinema: Christine (1983)
Christine (1983) is horror film directed by John Carpenter. Arnie, a less-than-popular high school kid, purchases a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere. Regardless of its tarnished nature Arnie is set on restoring the car. He works until it’s near perfect, but one night his car is badly vandalized. Arnie is torn apart, but to his surprise the car restores itself. This is the point in which Christine comes alive, and Arnie’s life changes for good. It is a little hard to imagine that a horror film could be developed around an automobile. However, when the screenplay is based off of a Stephen King novel and John Carpenter, the writer of Halloween, is your director, you’re destined to scare some audiences.
The 1958 Plymouth Belvedere is red with a white top. It screams ’50s and is stuck in that era, as it will only play ’50s rock and roll. Arnie’s buddy Dennis drives a blue 1968 Dodge Charger, which is a pretty brute American muscle car. Some other cars featured throughout the film are a ’67 Chevrolet Camaro, ’72 Impala Convertible, and a ’69 Ford Cortina GT MkII.
The film is particularly interesting due to the larger thematic element being discussed. A lot of people believe that there is somewhat of a correlation between people’s personalities and the car they drive. The film speaks to this theory as Arnie’s personality begins to shifts as his relationship with the car strengthens. I also enjoy the film because one of my guilty pleasures is watching B movies from time to time. Finally, I am impressed by the fact that Christine is a horror film that personifies a car and utilizes it, as it’s main scare factor. If you’re in the mood for a car-related Halloween flick tonight, flip on Christine and prepare to stare fear straight in the headlights.