Christine 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
John Carpenter brings Stephen King’s best-selling novel to life in this chilling thriller. She was born in Detroit … on an automobile assembly line. But she is no ordinary automobile. Deep within her chassis lives an unholy presence. She is CHRISTINE – a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury whose unique standard equipment includes an evil, indestructible vengeance that will destroy anyone in her way. She seduces 17-year-old Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), who becomes consumed with passion for her sleek, rounded chrome-laden body. She demands his complete and unquestioned devotion and when outsiders seek to interfere, they become the victims of Christine’s horrifying wrath.
Christine Movie Review
One mistake that films can make is trying to explain everything. Remember Episode One and explaining trade wars and midi-chlorians? In Christine, we just know that the car is bad. We don’t know why it is or how this happened, but it’s just evil. We also know that it doesn’t hate the owner, and it slowly drives the owner insane. Again this isn’t explained in depth, and no one cares, because it doesn’t matter.
There are even parts of Christine where I don’t fully know what happened. Was Arnie always behind the wheel, or did Christine go out on her own much of the time? Did Arnie believe that she could do this, or was he just so enraptured that he didn’t care either way? Christine is a well-done film and one that even my horror-disliking-self was able to sit down and enjoy. Sometimes the characters could come off a bit one-dimensional but the central plot was there and those characters were better developed. I enjoyed myself for a couple of hours and was able to go to sleep that night without worry, which makes for a good horror film in my view.
Christine Technical Review
Christine was shot on 35mm film and given a new 4K transfer for this release. They have done a good job with this release, as the film looks remarkably good. There is a fine level of film grain, and some darker scenes are lacking shadow depth, but that’s what film from the early 1980’s looks like. During well-lit or daytime scenes, there is lots of detail to go around and everything looks great. During some nighttime scenes with fiery explosions or headlights, the HDR is used well to make those very bright but not blowing them out or exposing too much film grain in the process. I don’t think the film can look any better than it does here.
This is the first 4K disc where we are reporting the MaxCLL and MaxFALL data from the disc as opposed to just the Minimum and Maximum luminance values. MaxCLL is the maximum brightness of any pixel in the film, and MaxFALL is the maximum average light level of any frame in the film. These are not an average at all but provide some extra information and some HDR displays use this information to do their tone mapping so they can show everything without clipping details. On some discs, this information is absent, however.
The updated Dolby Atmos soundtrack does a good job but doesn’t use the surrounds and height channels like a completely modern soundtrack would. Vocals are easy to hear, and when the surrounds are used they are used well, but often the audio is only coming from the front soundstage. The subwoofer also gets less of a workout that I would have expected in some scenes as well.
Christine Special Features
- Deleted Scenes
- Commentary with Director John Carpenter and Keith Gordon
- Three Featurettes:
- “Christine: Ignition”
- “Christine: Fast and Furious”
- “Christine: Finish Line”
A fine film, video as clean as it can likely ever look, good use of HDR.
The soundtrack isn't that dynamic when compared to the image.
Christine is a good horror film and this release is likely as good as it is ever going to look in the home.