Macabre...ish Horror Review: Needful Things



Needful Things, 1993 /120 min. A horror movie based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, released October, 1991. About a curious antique shop named Needful Things,  opened in a little town called Castle Rock by a curious man, Leland Gaunt (Max von Sydow).



The shop always seems to have something that is of great sentimental value (baseball cards, first edition books etc.) or to the customers or some supernatural ability, such as a pendant that takes away pain who dare to shop there.



The cost is cash plus small favors. Small favors usually means pranks played on specific neighbors in specific ways. Vandalism, killing a pet dog, destruction of property etc.


Gaunt very quickly impressed the town’s people as they come to him for his interesting wares. A gambler and embezzler buys a toy that accurately predicts the winners of horse races. As the people of Castle Rock visit the shop, they unwittingly share their issues, irritations and feuds. And as the share, he schemes, pitting neighbors against each other, with one prank at a time and pulling their strings with each sentimental purchase. People, relationships and the town soon unravel and the town descends into chaos as assumptions are made about the culprits of the chaos and ramp up long simmering tensions to a fever pitch. And bodies start piling up as regular people turn into criminals, murderers.


It appears Mr. Gaunt brings the promise of hopes and dreams fulfilled and leaves destruction in his wake. As the town falls apart, they realize too late who he is and what is happening.


Plenty of recognizable faces in this movie. Plenty of violence, murders and attempted suicides. This movie gets into it quickly with very little build up. This movie is for people who like the idea of horror but don’t like being scared. Who also don’t mind violence. It’s more thriller than horror.  I always enjoy this one for an easy watch!


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