Christine is a 1983 horror film about a sentient automobile named "Christine" and its effects on its teenaged owner, adapted from the novel Christine written by Stephen King. The film was directed by John Carpenter, and set in 1978.
A prologue sequence shows a red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury in an auto plant assembly line. One worker is injured when the car's hood slams shut on his hand, and another is choked to death inside after dropping cigar ash on the seat.
20 years later, Arnold Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is a nerdy teen with only one friend, a childhood companion and popular jock named Dennis Guilder (John Stockwell). Arnie's life begins to change when he buys a used car (Christine) in serious need of repair. Arnie begins to restore Christine to her original beauty, but as he spends more and more of his time repairing her, those in his life notice that he is changing as well. Formerly shy, Arnie develops a cocky arrogance. Dennis, as well as Arnie's new girlfriend, Leigh Cabot, (Alexandra Paul) discover that the car has a deadly past. The previous owner, Roland LeBay, became obsessed with Christine and he paid for it with his life. Leigh and Dennis try to save Arnie from a similar fate. Christine, however, isn't ready to give up Arnie without a fight.
A group of bullies at school bear a grudge against Arnie after a shop class confrontation that results in the gang's leader, Buddy Repperton (William Ostrander)'s, getting expelled for threatening Arnie with a switchblade. They severely vandalize the newly restored Christine, leaving her totally ruined. Arnie sees the wreck of Christine the next day and is totally shocked that all the work he put into restoring the car has been destroyed. Arnie begins a slow descent into darkness, angrily blaming Leigh for the wreck, and displaying further problems with his temper, getting into arguments with his parents and having a scuffle with his father. He is determined to restore Christine again. The next day as he looks the wreck over, he turns his back and hears the creaking of metal behind him. Arnie looks at Christine again and sees that her engine is fully restored. Arnie simply smiles and says, "Okay... show me." Christine, flickering her headlights on, then comes to life and restores herself so she looks good as new. Subsequently, Christine seeks out and gruesomely kills the individual members of the gang who destroyed her, one by one. Eventually, Christine arrives at a gas station, spilling gasoline, burning the building down, catching herself on fire and running down Buddy as he flees the scene in terror. She also kills Will Darnell (Robert Prosky), the grouchy, foul-mouthed owner of the garage where she resides, crushing him in the front seat against the steering wheel. In each of these nighttime attacks, Christine is badly damaged, but somehow regenerates herself every time so she looks showroom new.
On New Year's Eve, Dennis and Leigh reason that the only way to stop Christine and save Arnie is to destroy the car. Dennis then says that he is going to Arnie's, and Leigh urges him to be careful. After she leaves, Arnie pulls up to Dennis' house in Christine, picks him up and drives off. During the ride to Arnie's house, Arnie does a variety of things: drinks beer, takes his hands off the wheel, and tells Dennis about how strong the bond is between Christine and him. The next day, Dennis scratches the phrase "Darnell's Tonight" into Christine's hood, and drives off with Leigh. The two go to Darnell's and wait in a bulldozer. Dennis then tells Leigh to wait in the office so she can shut the door after Christine arrives. This way the car will be trapped. When Leigh exits the bulldozer and heads for the office, Christine's headlights shoot out of a pile of garbage, and the car charges at Leigh. As Christine crashes into Darnell's office in an attempt to kill Leigh, Arnie is thrown through Christine's windshield and is impaled on a shard of glass, surviving just long enough to admire Christine one last time. However, Christine continues to attack Dennis and Leigh, sustaining damage, and regenerating. Dennis pulls Leigh into the cab, and they finally crush Christine with the bulldozer, compacting her into a cube and tossing her into a junkyard, finally destroying her. Zooming in on the crushed cube that was formerly Christine, a piece of the grill slowly begins to bend....