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Nightmare Fuel / Christine

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You keep-a-knockin', but you can't come in...
An adaptation of a Stephen King novel directed by John Carpenter? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • Christine herself. A dangerous, hate-filled sentient vehicle that will not hesitate to kill anyone who either crosses Arnie or gets in the way of their twisted relationship.
    • As if that wasn't enough, it would appear that she is completely indestructible, so no matter how hard you try to get rid of her, she will always come out on top in the end.
    • The fact that her origin is never explained. While the novel goes into detail about her history with LeBay (and all of it is deeply fucked up in a way that only Stephen King could have imagined), the exact nature of how a sentient car came into existence is left ambiguous.
  • In the opening scene, Christine's engine hood slams down without warning and crushes the hand of a line worker inspecting her front end. Another worker climbs in to sit behind the wheel, letting the ash from his cigar fall on the front seat. At the end of the shift, the line supervisor notices the car still has Christine's radio playing - he opens the door to turn it off and the worker falls out of the car to the floor dead.
    • If one looks closer, the Plymouth factory could be the metaphorical representation of an avenue or a fashion ramp. There are many women walking (White Plymouths), but there's a different woman (Red Plymouth). This woman is very seductive in her red dress, with many workers eyeing her.
    • A man (the line worker) follows Christine, looking at her rear. Christine's mirror notices it, as it's a representation of a wary woman looking behind her. The man also takes a look behind him to make sure he's not watched. Though the line worker is simply doing his job by making sure everything's right with the Red Plymouth, he symbolically harasses Christine by opening her engine hood (representation of a blouse snatching). Christine protects herself by abruptly slamming her hood at the line worker's hand, who yelps in pain.
    • Another man approaches Christine. Thinking he's here to comfort her after this bad experience, Christine lets him sit within. But he doesn't respect her by dropping cigar ash on the driver seat and turns on the radio. The song is a representation of the anger boiling inside Christine, and it causes her to kill him.
    • A third man (the line supervisor), noticing Christine's radio is turned on, opens the door to shut it off. He pushes the horn, creating a representation of Christine crying and screaming, like a hysteric. Her headlights being turned on are a representation of tears.
  • The scene where Christine tries to murder Leigh in a fit of jealous rage.
    • As Leigh is choking inside the locked car, Christine begins to play "We Belong Together", almost taunting Leigh with her fate.
  • Christine's massacre of Buddy Repperton and his gang. While they all 100% deserve it, it's still horrifying to watch.
    • Donnie's death scream as Christine rams their car, causing fuel to leak throughout the garage as said car is catching fire. Within seconds, the entire garage is consumed by an inferno.
    • Especially nightmarish is the bit where a flaming Christine (see page image) is chasing Buddy down the highway, just lazily tailing him... getting closer every time he looks back. It's all so quiet.
  • And before that even happened, there's Moochie's death when he's pursued into an alleyway until he has nowhere to run. Apparently the poor bastard was bisected by the time Christine was done with him.
  • The very concept of what's happening to Arnie. It's almost non-existent in the movie, but it's pretty blatant in the book, if you read between the lines.
    • Arnie is being possessed by the ghost of Roland D. LeBay. It starts off in subtle ways, like Arnie combing his hair like a 50s greaser or listening to 50s music, all of which you could easily put down to simple things like personal taste. But it keeps going, as Arnie starts treating his girlfriend badly, yelling at his family, mistreating his best friend, and even breaking the law by smuggling fireworks across state lines. The ultimate sign is when Arnie injures his back at work, but can't quite remember HOW he injured it... except that now he needs to wear a back brace, just like LeBay.
    • When Arnie's father confronts him about the way Arnie spoke to him and his mother on replacing Christine, Arnie nearly strangles him to death, but backs out and pats him as if nothing unusual happened. The incident leaves Arnie's father creeped out. It's shown that LeBay's influence is poisoning Arnie's mind.
    • It takes a step into true nightmare territory towards the end, though, in a sequence where Dennis confronts Arnie in the school parking lot, calling him out on his bullshit and pointing out just how much he knows. Suddenly, the facade breaks and Arnie comes back, frightened and pleading with Dennis to help him. Then the walls are back up, and LeBay is talking again. It adds a huge dose of And I Must Scream to the story, making it even more frightening.
  • The teaser trailer is pretty unnerving in and of itself: Shot mostly in darkness, all we see at first is red curves, all while the narrator talks about how "she" is seductive and passionate... before then saying "she"'s possessive and "pure... evil". Once it's clear the narrator is talking about Christinenote , we are then told how she can take over whoever decides to own her "body and soul", before ending on this nugget:
    Narrator: (as the camera pulls back to show Christine's front end, still cast in shadow) There is no place you can hide. No place you can run. And nothing you can do to stop her. Because how can you kill something... that can't possibly be alive?
  • The film ends with a close-up of Christine's crushed body, with a bent grille piece slowly turning as if she's healing again...
    • The novel ends on a worse note: Years after the final battle, Dennis reads a recent news report of a bizarre murder-by-car of someone who was once the target of LeBay's rage. Dennis then remembers how there were times when Christine was killing people when a possessed Arnie wasn't able to drive her, noting how Christine had the power to regenerate herself. The final line of the epilogue is horrifying in its implications: His unending fury.