Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Flashback Review: CHRISTINE (1983)

Original Theatrical Poster
Made after the cold reception to his masterpiece The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), based on the hit novel by Stephen King, is John Carpenter as a hired hand. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, as Carpenter is a master of his craft, and Christine, despite its faults, is a compelling, atmospheric horror movie, with plenty to offer in terms of visuals, mood, sound design, and performances.

Where Christine falters is in its abrupt pacing and an under-polished script, especially when it comes to characterization. It also suffers from being one of Carpenter's least ambitious and personal films, with a particularly underwhelming climax. It does feature one of Carpenter's best soundtracks, a hypnotic, eerie score, with disturbing washes of synthesizers and thumping arpeggios. And despite all its faults, Christine is a film that begs for repeated viewings, as, ultimately, this is John Carpenter we are talking about here, and even with a flawed script, his mastery of the medium and his skills as a storyteller ensure that Christine is never boring and always gorgeous to look at.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.

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