Needful Things

1993

Crime  Drama  Fantasy  Horror  Thriller  

Synopsis


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Cast

Ed Harris as n Sheriff Alan Pangbornnn
Max von Sydow as n Leland Gauntnn
Lochlyn Munro as n John LaPointenn
Amanda Plummer as n Nettie Cobbnn
720p 1080p
909.69 MB
n 1280*720 n
n English n
n R n
n 23.976 fps n
n 2hr 0 min n
P/S 0 / 289
1.86 GB
n 1920*1080 n
n English n
n R n
n 23.976 fps n
n 2hr 0 min n
P/S 0 / 229

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

An entertaining film.

I have never read the King novel 'Needful Things' and so can't compare it with this film one way or the other.But this film, about a mysterious character who sets up a shop in which local residents find various treasures and are then tricked into perpetrating horrors against their neighbours, is entertaining and contains some good characters and marvelously black comedy. Though there are a few cheesy moments (like that ridiculous model which is supposed to represent a skinned dog), the film is still a winner. Max Von Sydow is good as the literally devilish owner of the Needful Things store and the climax is nicely-done.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Could have been better, could have been worse

"Needful Things" is a typical mediocre Stephen King adaptation. The drawn out book itself isn't among King's best work. Still, the fascination of the story lies in the detail and that had to be trimmed down for a 2 hours-movie version (there is another cut of the movie that's one hour longer, by the way). A lot of things had to be kicked out, but there was way too much changing around of events, items and characters. Ace Merril, a very important character for the novel's big finale, was ignored completely, for instance. I could understand things like that if they improved the movie. Kubrick made a lot of changes with his version of "Shining" and at least one could see why. With "Needful Things" the changes seem totally random and that's rather annoying for someone who has read the book.If you don't know the story beforehand the movie will probably still seem rushed. You can't really make a connection with the many characters and Sheriff Alan Pangborn finding out what's going on in the town seems unbelievable. It didn't really work in the book, but in the movie it's just stupid that he would draw such far fetched conclusions so quickly.The acting, on the other hand, is solid. Max von Sydow is a good choice for the part of Leland Gaunt, and Ed Harris is great as ever, although he has to work with a rather mediocre script. The sidecharacters are okay for the most part, even though Polly Chalmers and Wilma Jerzyck are maybe exaggerated.Unlike a lot of latter King adaptations this one seems to have been made with a decent budget. The locations look good and there are a few nice special effects. At times the explosions and the score can be too much, though. It's as if director Fraser Clarke Heston realized his movie wasn't turning out as exciting as he hoped, so he decided to blow it up with some dramatic music and fire.Well, as I've said in the headline. This movie could have been a lot better, but it could also have been a complete failure. As it is, it's good for one viewing but if you've read the novel you're going to be disappointed.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Be Careful For What You Wish For - You May Get It At Great Cost

Needful Things is an unexpected gem of a movie. I think its subtlety worked against it. Looking at the comments here, I think people missed the point of Max von Sydow's performance.The plot is simple. Leland Grant (the Devil) moves into a small town and opens up a shop that can get you anything you want, but he'll ask you for a favor. The favors exploit tensions in the town, causing people to turn on each other.Ed Harris is solid as the town sheriff, but he isn't given a lot to do, neither is his fiancée Bonnie Bedalia. This movie belongs to its the villains, the town politician J.T. Walsh unravels over the course of the movie, and von Sydow is utterly brilliant.This would be an easy role to overact on. You could be the mustache twirling villain quite easily, but Leland Gaunt is grandfatherly, likable, a complete gentleman. As he manipulates and torments, he never seems sinister which makes it a much more complex and rewarding performance. I think it was quite a choice to play him that way, he really took something on paper, and made more of it.Some movies are great in their entirety, and some just have great performances. The movie isn't perfect, but has a great performance.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Adaptation begging for more

I have to admit that having read of this horror film I approached it with some trepidation - Stephen King's work is not very familiar to me. I know his reputation, and I have meant to read him, but I have a large number of other books to read before I can make room for King. Probably the leading horror and Gothic novelist/short story writer of our time (the man who is the modern literary heir to Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Lovecraft), it has become a common comment that his best work is between the covers of his books and not on celluloid. Most of the comments on NEEDFUL THINGS follow this - a general feeling that it is a let-down of sorts.Yet I finally acquired a DVD of the film today, and it turned out that it is a really good film. Moreover, the horror has it's amusements. If I may suggest this to the readers, when you watch this film do what Max Von Sydow does in several scenes: watch it with a glass of fine old brandy or wine, or even a nice slice of apple pie (with or without Von Sydow's favorite - cheddar cheese), and try not to take it too seriously. Yes, the scene where the dog is found skinned (fake dead dog as it is) is not pleasant to view, but around it are some amusing bits. It's the practical jokes that Leland Gaunt (Von Sydow's pseudonym - he is the Devil, and is playing the Devil correctly as the Devil is the best of correct gentlemen) plays that amuses us, even as they spread his brand of evil throughout the town of Castle Rock. They are not harmless jokes, but meant to torment his victims at each other's hands. But they include scenes like Brian Rusk (Shane Meier) breaking the windows and smashing the kitchen of the home of Wilma Jercyk (Valeri Bromfield) as though he is pitching for the Yankees in the World Series. They include a self-important, crooked businessman like Danford Keaton (J. T. Walsh) getting involved for a whole afternoon with an antique horse racing game (supposedly it will give him a winning series of horses for the track), and insulting his wife in the process when she innocently suggests he go out for some honey based donuts. They include the neurotic Nettie Cobb(Amanda Plummer) putting up accusatory papers around Keaton's living room and kitchen, while Keaton is busy, and then just barely getting out without being seen by him when he reads the same papers. Even Von Sydow gets into the fun of the horror - he goes into ecstasy thinking of the chaos he created in front of his fireplace while listening to "Ave Maria". His taste in music is fine - but the Devil enjoying "Ave Maria"?Basically the chaos in the town is created when the Devil gives the luckless, self-centered townspeople what they want at his new store (a type of antique - collectibles shop called "Needful Things") and they have to do little pranks to help pay for their acquisitions. Brian sells himself for an autographed Topps 1955 Mickey Mantle card (I think he should have held out for the really rare 1910 or so Honus Wagner card that is worth about $100,000.00 if you find it). Nettie, whose abusive husband smashed her china collection seven years before, gets a second copy of her favorite statue. Polly Chalmers (Bonnie Bedelia) has arthritis, and gets an ancient Egyptian necklace that helps her condition improve. But then they have to do one evil after another after another. Sometimes one sympathizes with them (Brian is too young to fully understand what he let himself in for, and Polly really suffers from arthritis). But with people like the selfish, self-important Keaton one sympathizes more with others (like his wife) than himself.There is increased violence in the film, and the death of Nettie's dog is the start of it. The next act is possibly the best recalled moment of the film. It is rare (really rare) for two women characters to kill each other in a movie. In the classic western JOHNNY GUITAR, Mercedes McCambridge was shot and killed in a showdown with Joan Crawford, but our sympathy was with Joan not Mercedes. In NEEDFUL THINGS Nettie and Wilma slaughter each other: Nettie believing Wilma has killed her dog (Wilma didn't) and Wilma believing Nettie first smeared Turkey excrement on her washing, and then smashed up her home (Nettie didn't). It makes the whole more believable that Nettie is considered a mental case who murdered her abusive husband, and Wilma is a violent, mental case as well. They are combustible types about to be mixed together.The scene (it takes all of three minutes) is well done actually - Nettie showing up holding a bread knife behind her back to face Wilma in Wilma's home. Wilma has grabbed a cleaver. I read some descriptions of the sequence that don't go into the details, but basically the battle is a bloody one, with Nettie getting first blood (thrusting her knife into Wilma's belly), but Wilma swinging her cleaver and cutting Nettie across her chest. Both drop their weapons, and end up with each others, chasing each other to the second floor, and bleeding heavily. They end up falling out of the window with Nettie burying her cleaver in Wilma's face while Wilma pushes her knife into Nettie's chest (and it comes out her back). They are both killed, but they probably would have bled to death anyway.The violence continues to escalate after that, though nothing as startling in it's violent confrontation. At the end the town is almost blown up. But at the end Mr. Von Sydow leaves town intact. Stephen King knows that the Devil may be thwarted, but evil always survives.

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