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1 review, 14 user ratings

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Needful Things
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by Rob Gonsalves

"There are worse Stephen King films to pass the time with."
4 stars

Pop 'Needful Things' into your player with no particular expectations and you might find it a worthwhile distraction. The Stephen King novel it’s based on is no great shakes anyway — just 'Salem’s Lot' with the Devil instead of vampires.

Director Fraser Heston (son of you-know-who) basically turns the camera on and off; the real talent here is screenwriter W.D. Richter (Buckaroo Banzai), who trims the fat from King’s novel and preserves its best qualities as a black comedy of revenge. Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow, having fun) comes to sleepy Castle Rock and opens the titular antiques store, which gives its customers what they “need” in return for “pranks.”

See it for J.T. Walsh, the late great character actor who had one of his best roles as a weaselly selectman who falls under Gaunt’s thrall. Released in theaters (and on DVD) at 120 minutes, the movie has been shown on TV in an expanded three-hour version.

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originally posted: 03/11/07 10:51:23
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User Comments

10/29/09 Jeff Wilder Weak adaptation that fails to do the (great) book justice. 2 stars
7/09/09 art WHO NEED"S THIS? 1 stars
3/27/07 Irene Diaz It was entertaining if you havn´t read the book 3 stars
8/30/05 ES TMC moving up the ranks as the most useless of critics, movie was fun and imaginative 4 stars
11/26/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) It's actually clever and well-acted. The script & music were good, too. 4 stars
10/14/03 Erik Van Sant I don't believe in this movie. This movie doesn't exist. 1 stars
10/12/03 JimmyC Max von Sydow is excellent 4 stars
9/14/03 J Not scary, but you'll enjoy it. 4 stars
4/19/03 Jack Sommersby Passable. 3 stars
1/04/03 Charles Tatum Good production values in "Witches of Eastwick" ripoff 4 stars
9/02/02 y2mckay One of King's best books turned into one of the worst movies. 1 stars
1/27/02 Andrew Carden Confusing and Stupid King-Based Movie. 1 stars
9/21/01 www see it 4 stars
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  02-Aug-1993 (R)



Directed by
  Fraser Heston

Written by
  W.D. Richter

  Ed Harris
  Max von Sydow
  Bonnie Bedelia
  JT Walsh
  Amanda Plummer
  Shane Meier

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