Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, Kelly Preston, William Ostrander, Malcolm Danare, Steven Tash, Stuart Charno, David Spielberg
Arnie (Keith Gordon) is just the typical highschool geek until he meets Christine, a bright red 1958 Plymouth Fury that will transform him into someone else.
After Brian De Palma's "Carrie" and Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining", eventually came the time for John Carpenter to bring to the screen a Stephen King novel. Now I haven't seen any other work of his, but since many consider him the master of horror, I was expecting this film to be good. And it might have been good if it wasn't a horror but a dramatic film instead. "Christine" indeed isn't particularly scary or suspenseful.
On the contrary of typical horrors, this one's problem is not the story. Stephen King actually had a(nother) good idea when he conceived an evil car that goes around killing people. It is arguably very fascinating, predictable maybe, yet fascinating.
So what did went wrong? John Carpenter's direction. He does set up the story pretty well but after there's nothing. His direction is lousy at its best. He focuses (too much) on the wrong things, like on the car, Christine. I know that's also the title both of the novel and the film, but he should have focused more on the characters, like King did.
The character development is practically nonexistent, and some, if not most of the characters do nothing in the film. Buddy Repperton, for example, is just there because the film needs a villain.
However, Carpenter does something else other than screwing up with the characters: he does set up a good atmosphere through music that always fits the moment.
I'm not done yet, there's the cast. First, there are actors that look way too old to be in high school. Second, Keith Gordon in the lead role. He goes from geek to arrogant douchebag with such speed it's impossible to root for the character. Sure, the screenplay should probably blamed, not the actor, but he sure doesn't even try to improve the film.