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This movie definitely is not a perfect horror classic but I still see it somewhat as a semi-classic. Because of its unique story it still remains a very special and unique one, that besides works out really well, for most part.

Thing that this movie really has going for it is its originality. The main concept might even sound a bit ridicules and just far from likely. I mean, a car with an own mind, that kills off people? That does not sound like anything too convincing of course. But it does work out well in the movie and its story, probably also because it does not ever over-explain anything. The car is evil, as simple as that. There is no reason for it given and the characters in the movie also don't try to find out how and why the car has a true mind of her own. I guess that by trying to give an explanation for all of it, the movie would had truly become a ridicules and far fetched one to watch, so it in my opinion was the right choice to simply step over it and just take things for granted. It also kept the movie at all times simple and pleasant to watch and also adds to the movie its mystery and tension as well.

It's definitely true that all of the movie its 'fun' starts in its last hour. Before that point, the movie is really taking its time, by setting up certain story lines and characters. Not that it's bad or boring to watch all but once the fun kicks in and the final hour starts you are still nevertheless wondering to yourself if the movie couldn't had picked up its pace earlier on already and started off a bit sooner with its horror elements.

It are little storytelling elements like this that prevent the movie from being a true great one. But all of this can be brought back to the fact that it's based on a novel, which often features and also requires a totally different way of storytelling of course. It's also the main reason why some characters work out awkwardly in this movie and too often get pushed to the background. It doesn't always feels like a well balanced movie with its storytelling and characters.

Also some of its themes could had been handled better and more effective, in the movie. Such as for instance the whole way the car chances its owner's personality could had been done far more subtle and interestingly. It could had also given the movie some more depth but this is just not the type of movie that ever wants to delve too deep into things. It's clearly made as foremost a genre movie and to entertaining and bring some thrills to its audience.

And it does not really fail as a genre movie. The car pretty much becomes a real character for the movie and it's being a pretty effective 'villain', mostly thanks to the way the movie got shot by genre expert John Carpenter, who directed the movie.

Depite all of its flaws and weaknesses, I'm still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and call this a semi-classic because of its original concept and the way it got shot by John Carpenter. Also when looking at it fairly you have to conclude that it's being a way better and more effective movie than just the average genre attempt.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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