John Carpenter's adaptation of the novel by Stephen King was one of the better attempts at recreating King horror in my opinion. It's also one of Carpenter's last minimalist efforts before he began to make movies on a grander scale (which was still quite small in comparison to some filmmakers).
Keith Gordon is perfectly cast as Arnie Cunningham (the young dweeb who has come to hate himself thanks to his overpowering parents and the school bullies) who becomes obsessed with the titular motor vehicle, which takes to Arnie so much that it would do anything for him.
The rest of the cast are also very good in their respective roles from John Stockwell who plays jock with a heart Dennis Guilder to Alexandra Paul in one of her first roles as love interest Leigh Cabot. They are backed by some fine supporting actors in the form of Harry Dean Stanton and Robert Prosky.
Carpenter keeps us on our toes never making it too obvious that Arnie isn't the one carrying out the killings and the story is allowed to unfold slowly, which creates a creepy vibe before proceeding onto some well executed moments of tension, as the car tracks down it's victims.
Some of the earlier scenes remind you of how things used to be before our Politically Correct climate saw audiences become increasingly sensitive to cetain words, actions and images, and the finale has a nice amount of suspense to entertain you right up until the fun climax.
The story shares some themes present in King's earlier work 'Carrie' which is held in higher regard than this film, yet the black humour, rock n' roll songs and great score by Carpenter and regular partner in crime Alan Howarth make for a thoughtful horror movie.