Shortly after getting Christine, Arnold starts changing from the nervous unsure nerd into someone who has a lot of confidence. He even loses his glasses, and starts dating the new student Leigh Cabot (Paul), tagged by the other high shool guys as the most beautiful girl in school. Christine has a symbiot relationship with her owners, where each draws from the love they have for each other. Of course, owning Christine is destructive, as even a mild-mannered kid like Arnold is seduced by the car's evil, eventually not caring who gets hurt when it comes to Christine.
The school is populated by all the same kids you went to school with if you were in high school in the early eighties, like me. The jocks, the nerds, the toughs (Ostrander's Buddy Repperton) and the tough's click of groupies, who feed off his energy. Strangely, just the same type relationship that Christine has with her owners.
The writing is really good, especially the scenes where the high schoolers are interacting with each other. Took me right back to my own high school days. The music is also extremely effective, although the music composed for the movie is very reminiscent of the music for HALLOWEEN. The best part of the music for me, though, is how the music that Christine plays fits the action that is currently happening. One of my all-time favorite movie soundtracks.
There have been a lot of "killer car" movies, including THE CAR, KILLER CAR, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE and even KILLDOZER. But none of them have the magic that CHRISTINE pulls off. While there have been some good movies in this sub-genre, the ones I've seen aren't as good. I think it's due to the source material of Stephen King's novel (in which Cristine was a 4-door) and Carpenter's direction. Combined, it turned out an excellent movie.
Th effects are also very well-done. Especially the scene where Christine basically rebuilds herself. It was done with prefabbed balloons, but unless you really look for it, you can't tell. And the scene where a flaming Christine chases one of the toughs down the road is a shot that was also extremely well done.