You know, the movie was never as good as the book, but the movie holds up pretty well, all things considered. It features mostly in-camera and practical effects. The cars are sleek, the music is cool, the atmosphere holds fairly well (though not as well as the novel), and it captures something unique about quietly going off the rails in high school, I think.
I am not sure I'd want to go back and read the book of Christine. There's no way it would be as good at 36 as it was when I was 13, but the book seemed pretty fun at the time.
The novel seemed much more subtle in its approach to the corruption of Arnie, but the movie still does its job thanks to Keith Gordon's gradual transformation through the film, 3 parts script, 7 parts Gordon. Credit to director John Carpenter for this one, too, even if its a kick in the gut to watch car after car get destroyed in the name of making this movie.
The movie also stars John Stockwell as Dennis, and Alexandra Paul as Leigh Cabot. You will remember Alexandra Paul as The Virgin Connie Swail in 1987's Dragnet or as Lt. Stephanie Holden from Baywatch.
I always liked the idea of a car with a personality. It was like if KITT were a homicidal maniac (that would actually be KARR, I suppose), and the fact that Stephen King made Christine the world's worst girlfriend on top of everything else was just a stroke of genius.
The movie does have one of the best closing lines of any movie, and I have to tip my hat.
"God, I hate rock and roll."
Remember that one, kids. Also, never mess with a nerd's car.