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Of course, the box figures prominently in the whole mess.
NEEDLE has some imaginative death scenes and I didn't spot the killer. Sure it's contrived and leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but at least it's not a remake, reboot or a found footage travesty. I had fun watching it and that's what moviemaking is all about.
Opening with the death of a dirty artifact dealer years ago by some remote instrument, the film moves forward to the present day. Ben Rutherford is a college student with the usual group of friends (which these days means there must be at least one gay couple). The family lawyer shows one day with an item belonging to his late father, an item found in a warehouse, an intricate box with a burned picture inserted in it, ornate metalwork and a crank. With no idea what it is or what it's for, Ben shows it off to his friends that night.
Waking the next morning with a hangover, Ben discovers the box is missing. Having taken a picture of it the night before, he takes that to a teacher who specializes in antiquities to see if she has an idea of what it is. Eventually she lets him know that the French inscribed on it seems to lead her to think it was connected to the Grand Guignol, the graphic horror shows from France around 1800. After talking to someone she knows, it is later discovered this is a machine made to wreak revenge on others and worth nearly $500,000 to the right buyer.
At the same time this is going on, Ben's brother Marcus is attempting to make contact with him once more. Having left behind the family years ago he hopes to reunite but Ben isn't having any of it. To say he carries a grudge is oversimplification.Read more ›
The plot is a poor attempt to mix horror with mystery (although it owes a lot to Agatha Christie's mystery, And Then There Were None). The attempt to find out what was going on is handled so casually it's a wonder they even bothered. There is absolutely no sense of urgency until the very end. By that time, it's too late to invest any interest in the proceedings. Suddenly, after a very lengthy ramble, the villain is unmasked and it's over, leaving one with a lot of unanswered questions (lapses in logic notwithstanding). As this type of genre goes, the filmmakers played it rather safe; neither spooky enough nor gory enough for the type of audience they must have aimed for and missed. It's tepid at best, just interesting enough to justify its almost 90 minute length.
Among the actors, the only one who stood out was Travis Fimmel, and I'm not certain whether that was a good thing or not. His performance was weird to say the least. I kept thinking, as a photographer for the police, maybe they should have given him a few more surprise drug tests than most. His behavior was decidedly odd throughout, made even more apparent when doing scenes opposite his brother (Michael Dorman), who came across more mundane than just ordinary. I will say I was kept fascinated by the prospect of what Travis Fimmel's crazy character would do next, forgetting what the movie was about. For a supporting character, it's never a good thing to eclipse the movie as a whole.
After it was over, I immediately tossed the DVD into my discard pile, never to watch again (not because it was a bad movie, but because it failed to reach for anything beyond the norm). It was just okay.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Two stars for an original approach to a slasher flick, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael Aaglan
The acting was good. The story line kept me interested and I don't really care for "slasher" style movies. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Wendy K. Hoover
i would recommend this to people that like at litto scair in there life i do a lot it a good moviePublished 20 months ago by Carolina Hernandez
Talk about play his part he can chance in his roles so smoothly, I can't want to see how he will devolpe he acting skills in the future. He is not just a pretty boy.Published 20 months ago by Cindi Jahnke
I never got to see this movie. I ordered the movie and got instant Movie. Now I have MacAffee and AVG virus protection and firewalls. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mikhail
This movie surprised me. I really enjoyed the story line and the ending was a total suprise. I would recommend this to all horror/suspence movie collectors.Published 20 months ago by K Piper
Fast moving film. Acting was above average. Scary, somewhat gruesome. Kept you guessing. I recommend this film. Not for the squeamish.Published 20 months ago by telstar62