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Top Customer Reviews
This version is okay, but it's cut down to the bare bones of the plot(s) for time and space. The longer version has never been seen on video, but we can hope!
Where this version fails is that the character development is rushed and they focus more on the "deeds" than what the book does. The novel itself is very excellent and the first part allows the characters to be developed. Part two of the novel is left to the "deeds" and part three focuses on the chaos that results and the aftermath.
However, in the movie, the "deeds" and the chaos and not on the characters nor the aftermath. I think that "Needful Things" could be put on film, as long as it's a three part miniseries and not just one movie.
However, this film does have some good things about it, the main good thing is Max von Syndow's performance (although when I read the book I imagined someone like Christopher Lee). Another good thing is how accurate to the book that the "deeds" were carried out.
Some may say that this is the worst Stephen King adaptation, but I can think of a couple that are worse: Dreamcatcher, Graveyard Shift, Thinner, and Tommyknockers. This one, is only fifth worse.
What would happen if the devil literally came to town? In this case it's a small New England coastal village (shot in British Columbia). Ed Harris plays the main protagonist while Bonnie Bedelia plays his girlfriend, and Max Von Sydow plays the mysterious shopkeeper who comes to down and causes havoc by selling the villagers their most deepest desires for the price of a "deed."
So, what would happen if the devil came to town? Would he make it a paradise? A fun hedonistic haven? Not bloody likely.
Since the movie utilizes Christian themes I'll consider it from that perspective for the sake of reviewing. According to the Bible, the blessing of the Lord produces the qualities of the Garden of Eden, that is, paradise, which is why it says that the kindgom of heaven is a matter of righteousness, peace, joy and power. By contrast, the devil's kingdom produces un-righteousness, strife, war, anxiety, depression, misery, bondage and helplessness.
The fictitional town of Castle Rock was a veritable haven before Leland Gaunt (Sydow) came to town. Sure, there were the typical petty dislikes and rivalries, etc. but, generally speaking, it was a nice place to live, a small coastal paradise, which is what motivated the Ed Harris character to live there. Of course, Gaunt is intent on changing all this.
I just find it interesting the way the new shopkeeper slowly turns the town into a literal living hell. He utilizes the people's petty dislikes, paranoias and jealousies against them.
"Needful Things" may not be great and it's definitely not scary, but it's effective in a theological sense as a creepy Satanic take-over through simple manipulation of human nature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story is as old as time itself. What happens when Satan comes to town? The town of Castlerock Maine and sheriff Alan Pangborn learn the hard way. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Donald J. Wurzelbacher
This movie really makes you stop and think about the material things that we all think we "need"!Published 2 months ago by Blueracer
I like it, but I like Stephen King it's slow-moving it's a little odd but fun to watchPublished 2 months ago by M. Mclean
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